Trends in nurse staffing levels in nursing homes from 1997 to 2011 varied across the category of nurse and the type of nursing home.
These gaps are important to consider because nurses may become overworked and this may negatively affect the quality of services and jeopardize resident safety.
Nursing home administrators should consider improving staffing strategically. Staffing should be based not only on than the number of resident days, but also allocated according to particular resident needs.
As the demand for nursing home care grows, bridging the gap between nurse staffing and resident nursing care needs will be especially important in light of the evidence linking nurse staffing to the quality of nursing home care.
Until more efficient nursing care delivery exits, there may be no other way to safeguard quality except to increase nurse staffing in nursing homes.
To learn more, see Zhang et al. (2013). Gaps in nurse staffing and nursing home resident needs. Nursing Economic$, 31(6), 289-297.