Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/ebn.2011.100142
  • Nursing issues
  • Discourse analysis

Changes in patient outcomes coincide with increased nursing hours

  1. Gail Tomblin Murphy
  1. WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Gail Tomblin Murphy
    WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research, Dalhousie University, 905-1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 1V7, Canada; gail.tomblin.murphy{at}

Commentary on:

Implications for practice and research

  • The paper's findings align with previous evidence establishing a link between levels of nurse staffing and patient outcomes, and are important for policy makers and other stakeholders to consider.

  • Future evaluations should include all patients who may have been impacted by such policies, and use more rigorous methods to investigate a possible causal link between the policy and those outcomes.


Research has indicated that nurse staffing levels are often related to patient outcomes and this has led some to propose that staffing levels should be set at a statutory minimum; it is not clear, however, whether such policies are effective. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of policies and practices are essential to the efficiency of healthcare planning and service delivery. An investigation of the impact of the nursing hours per …

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