Web site spotlight: Poll finds nurses believe staff shortages are affecting patient care

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 24, 2009

Nearly three-quarters of nurses who participated in an American Nurses Association (ANA) online poll reported insufficient staffing at their workplace. Forty-two percent of respondents also cited inadequate staffing as the reason they were considering leaving their position—suggesting nurse shortages will worsen.

The results of the anonymous poll conducted on the Safe Staffing Saves Lives Campaign Web site since March 2008—which received almost 15,000 responses—were released last week.

What may be surprising is nurses' candor about the effects such staffing issues are having on patient care. For example, more than half of the nurses (52%) who took the poll reported the quality of care on their unit declined in the past year, and half said they would not feel confident having someone close to them receive care in their facility.

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