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NINR-Supported Study Shows Nursing Magnet Hospitals Have Lower Surgical Mortality

March 10, 2016
nurses with patient

Surgical patients have better outcomes at Magnet hospitals known for excellence in nursing and better nurse staffing, according to a study funded in part by NINR and published recently in the journal JAMA Surgery.

According to the study published on January 20, patients undergoing surgery at Magnet hospitals had better outcomes at the same or lower costs as other hospitals. The better outcomes were seen for all patients, but especially for those who were sicker and had more complications.

The authors -- which included Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing -- compared over 25,000 matched pairs of Medicare patients who had surgery in over 300 hospitals. The patient pairs had the same surgical procedure and were similar in age, sex, illness severity, demographics, and chronic illnesses.

"This latest study by Dr. Aiken and her colleagues adds another solid layer to the growing scientific evidence on the connection between a well-trained nursing workforce and positive patient outcomes," said NINR Director Dr. Patricia A. Grady.

"A surprising finding was that better nurse staffing throughout the hospital does not have to be more expensive," said Aiken. "Indeed, we found that Magnet hospitals with good nurse staffing achieved lower mortality at the same or lower costs by admitting 40 percent fewer patients to intensive care units and shortening length of hospital stay,"

A team of researchers from the Center for Outcomes Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and the Perelman School of Medicine at U. Penn collaborated on the paper.

A list of Magnet designated hospitals can be found at

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