Associations of nurse education level and nurse staffing with patient experiences of hospital care: A cross sectional study in China

Xu Liu, Jing Zheng, Ke Liu, Judith G. Baggs, Jiali Liu, Yan Wu, Liming You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Strengthening the nursing workforce is core to health system reform in China. Patient experiences of hospital care have been recognized as important in this endeavor. Studies exploring the relationships between nursing workforce and patient experiences of hospital care, however, are scarce. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the associations between nurse education level, nurse staffing, and hospitalized patients’ experiences of hospital care. Participants were 1,582 nurses responsible for direct care and 1,305 hospitalized patients from 23 hospitals in Guangdong province, China in 2014. Education level of nurses was measured by the proportion of nurses holding a baccalaureate or higher degree. Nurse staffing was measured by the unit nurse-patient ratio. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health care Providers and Systems Scale was used to measure patient experiences of hospital care. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that a higher proportion of nurses holding a baccalaureate or higher degree was related directly to better patient perceptions of communication with nurses, responsiveness of nurses, pain management, and physical environment, and related indirectly to overall hospital ratings and recommendation of the hospital. A higher nurse-patient staffing ratio was associated directly with better patient perceptions of communication with nurses, education about new medications given in hospital, and physical environment, and indirectly with overall ratings and recommendation of the hospital. Our findings add new evidence in the Chinese societal context about the relationship between the nursing workforce and patient experiences of hospital care. Upgrading nurse education level and increasing nurse staffing could potentially improve patient experiences of hospital care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • China
  • nurse education
  • nurse staffing
  • nursing workforce
  • patient experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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