Nursing home nurses lack time and resources for complete care

For years, extensive evidence from hospitals has shown that nurses are more likely to leave necessary patient care unfinished when employed in settings with insufficient staff and resources.  This “missed care” has been linked to poor care quality, increased adverse events, and decreased satisfaction with the health system. New research—from Penn Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR)—finds similar evidence in nursing homes specifically, and identifies the strong relationship between missed care, nurse burnout, and job dissatisfaction. 

The CHOPR team used data from 540 nursing homes in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to examine the relationship between job burnout, dissatisfaction and incidence of missed care reported by registered nurses (RNs). The results are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS).

In the study, led by Elizabeth WhiteLinda Aiken, and Matthew McHugh, researchers found that 72% of RNs reported missing one or more necessary care tasks on their last shift due to lack of time or resources. One in five RNs reported frequently being unable to complete necessary patient care. The activity most often skipped: comforting patients, talking with them, and performing adequate patient surveillance, teaching patients and families, and developing care plans. 

Missed care was significantly more common among nursing home RNs who were dissatisfied with their jobs or experiencing burnout.

Read more at Penn Nursing News.