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  1. Giuliano, Karen K. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Danesh, Valerie PhD, RN, CCRP
  3. Funk, Marjorie PhD, RN, FAAN


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to better understand the relationship between nurse staffing and 30-day excess readmission ratios for patients with heart failure in the top US adult cardiology and heart surgery hospitals.


BACKGROUND: Heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalization for patients older than 65 years and is the most frequent diagnosis associated with 30-day hospital readmission in the United States.


METHODS: A secondary data analysis was conducted using nurse staffing data from 661 cardiology and heart surgery hospitals from the 2013 US News & World Report "Best Hospitals" survey. These data were combined with excess readmission ratios from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare database from 2013. An independent-samples t test was used to compare staffing (low/high) and excess hospital readmissions rates.


RESULTS: A significant difference (P = .021) was found between the low nurse staffing group (n = 358) and the high nurse staffing group (n = 303). Hospitals with a lower nurse staffing index had a significantly higher excess readmission rate.


CONCLUSION: These data provide further support to the body of research showing a positive relationship between nurse staffing and positive outcomes.