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A new study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that patient satisfaction with care in hospitals declines when patients believe there are not enough nurses on wards. The study findings were based on the results of a patient survey of 66,348 patients.

According to, “Only 14 percent of patients who reported there was never or rarely enough nurses on the hospital ward rated their care as excellent, while 57 percent of patients who reported there were usually enough nurses rated their care as excellent.” Results of the study also showed that only 60 percent of the patients surveyed reported that there were usually enough nurses available to provide their care.

Study author Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, tells, “The often repeated narrative suggesting that quality deficits in hospitals are due to ‘uncaring’ nurses is not supported by evidence from [the survey]. Patients value nurses so much that when nurses are in short supply, patients’ overall ratings of their hospitals decline sharply.”

The research team concluded that their findings show that it is the availability of qualified registered nurses in hospitals that affects patient satisfaction most. Improving nurse staffing in hospitals could be the solution to improving patient satisfaction.

To learn more about Penn Nursing’s study on patient satisfaction, visit here.

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