In the news: ANA study puts price ticket on nursing profession

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, February 2, 2009

The care a nurse delivers is undoubtedly critical to his or her patients' health. Not so evident is how critical this care is to the economy, but the American Nurses Association (ANA) aims to change this viewpoint with a new study.

The ANA has released The Economic Value of Professional Nursing, a study published in the journal Medical Care that calculates the economic worth of nursing. The study was proposed in 2003 in an effort to tackle workforce problems, and the research was conducted in acute care hospitals in 28 settings. The study analyzed the correlation between nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes. 

Study findings calculate that adding 133,000 nurses to the acute care hospital setting would save 5,900 patients' lives per year and result in more than $1.3 billion in hospital savings, which translates to approximately $9,900 in savings per additional nurse each year.

The added nurses would also reduce hospital days by 3.6 million and boost patient recovery times, which would increase national productivity, resulting in a saving of an estimated $231 million per year. In addition, the study quantifies the new nurses would result in $6.1 billion in medical savings, which can be broken down to $46,000 per additional nurse per year.



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