The Impact of Nurse Staffing on Hospital Costs and Patient Length of Stay: A Systematic Review

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Executive SummaryResearch examining the relationships between nurse staffing, hospital costs, and length of stay is varied using a range of methods and definitions.This lack of coherence in definitions and measurement tools for cost and length of stay makes it difficult to conclude with certainty the results of nurse staffing on hospital cost and length of stay.However, the evidence reflected that significant reductions in cost and length of stay may be possible with higher ratios of nursing personnel in hospital settings.Sufficient numbers of RNs may prevent patient adverse events that cause patients to stay longer than necessaryPatient costs were also reduced with greater RN staffing as RNs have higher knowledge and skill levels to provide more effective nursing care as well as reduce patient resource consumption.Hospital administrators are encouraged to use higher ratios of RNs to non-licensed personnel to achieve their objectives of quality patient outcomes and cost containment.

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