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Research project: RN4CAST Nurse Forecasting in Europe - Dormant

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This study, undertaken in collaboration with a large international consortium seeks to explore how the size and composition of the registered nursing workforce affects the quality of care in hospitals. Further it will explore the implications of this for workforce planning. At its core is an extended replication of Linda Aiken's classic studies which associated the size of the nursing workforce with mortality.

Current human resources planning models in nursing are unreliable and ineffective as they consider volumes, but ignore effects on quality in patient care. Funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission, the RN4CAST project aimed to consider not only volumes, but quality of nursing staff and its effects on patient care as well. RN4CAST thus opens the opportunity to generate new approaches to more effective management of nursing resources, ultimately securing better outcomes for patients around the world.

The study comprised a consortium of research teams from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the UK. The study focused on medical and surgical care within general acute hospitals to create a clear picture of the relationship between nursing workforce planning and patient outcomes. Data was collected anonymously from nurses and patients in addition to hospital discharge records, to investigate how elements including nurse qualifications, demographics, workload, well-being and practice environment can effect productivity, patient safety and patient outcomes.

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Health Work and Systems
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