Background: Nurse staffing impacts patient outcomes, but little is known about the relationship between nurse staffing and outcomes for lung cancer patients undergoing pulmonary lobectomy. Objectives: To examine the association between nurse staffing and outcomes following lobectomy for lung cancer. Methods: Patients (N = 16,994) with lung cancer between who underwent lobectomy between 2008–2011 were identified in the National Inpatient Sample. Nurse staffing was quantified using registered nurse full-time equivalents per adjusted patient days. Multivariable models were used to estimate the effect of RN FTEs on mortality, length of stay, and costs, controlling for covariates. Results: Patients treated at hospitals using 5.6 or more RN FTEs had shorter hospitals stays by 0.37 days (p = 0.008), had 36% lower odds of mortality (OR = 0.64, p = 0.014), but incurred $4,388 (p < 0.0001) in additional costs. Conclusions: Hospital administrators face a troubling trade-off between costs and outcomes in decisions about nurse staffing mix for pulmonary lobectomy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine