Better Nurse Staffing and Nurse Work Environments Associated With Increased Survival of In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Patients

In Medical Care, Matthew McHugh and colleagues, including Linda Aiken and Raina Merchant, explore the association between nurse staffing, nurse work environments, and survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA). Nurses are likely the first responders to IHCA, thus playing a critical role in improving outcomes from these events. Using data from the American Heart Association, the University of Pennsylvania Multi-State Nursing Care and Patient Safety survey, and the American Hospital Association annual survey, the authors modeled the association of nursing features – staffing ratios and environment – and surviving IHCA and being discharged from the hospital,. The study finds each additional patient per nurse in medical-surgical units is associated with a 5% lower likelihood of surviving ICHA to discharge. Additionally, patients in hospitals with a poor nursing work environment were 16% less likely to survive IHCA than patients cared for in hospitals with better work environments.