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Nurse Shortage Linked to Patient Deaths

Study Shows 7% Boost in Death for Each Additional Patient in Nurses' Workload

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"We know that the use of overtime is escalating as a stop-gap measure to fill in for shortages in hospital nursing staffs," she tells WebMD. "While having one nurse for four patients may sound like a reasonable level, when that one nurse is working a 16-hour shift, it may not be. Many nurses are aging and getting more tired and more stressed out."

Studies indicate that job dissatisfaction among hospital nurses is four times greater than the average reported by other U.S. workers, and that one in five hospital nurses plans to leave the profession within a year. Nurses, particularly those working in hospitals, have among the highest burnout rates of any profession.

"Getting people interested in nursing and into nursing schools is one thing," says Kany. "But once they start doing some clinical practice and see the realities of the work environment, the light flips on. And that's unfortunate." -->

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