Description: Decades of research have shown that higher nurse staffing is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients, but these studies are limited by available data and methods. Disaggregating data into smaller units of time (i.e. month versus year) and by location (i.e. hospital unit versus entire hospital), as well as applying fixed effects, can change the magnitude and even the direction of this association. Longitudinal nurse staffing data from the VA is uniquely suited to exploring the association between nurse staffing and patient outcomes due to its longitudinal nature, large scale, and specificity of both patient and staffing data. In this presentation, we will discuss methods for analyzing nurse staffing data and provide an overview of the available sources of nurse staff data at VA.
Target audience: This presentation is intended for individuals interested in methods for longitudinal datasets, VA nursing data, or research on nurse staffing and patient outcomes.