Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Health Serv Res. 2008 Aug;43(4):1145-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2007.00825.x. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

Hospital nurse practice environments and outcomes for surgical oncology patients.

Author information

  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard School of Public Health, 44 Binney Street SM 271, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To examine the effect of nursing practice environments on outcomes of hospitalized cancer patients undergoing surgery.


Secondary analysis of cancer registry, inpatient claims, administrative and nurse survey data collected in Pennsylvania for 1998-1999.


Nurse staffing (patient to nurse ratio), educational preparation (proportion of nurses holding at least a bachelor's degree), and the practice environment (Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index) were calculated from a survey of nurses and aggregated to the hospital level. Logistic regression models predicted the odds of 30-day mortality, complications, and failure to rescue (death following a complication).


Unadjusted death, complication, and failure to rescue rates were 3.4, 35.7, and 9.3 percent, respectively. Nurse staffing and educational preparation of registered nurses were significantly associated with patient outcomes. After adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics, patients in hospitals with poor nurse practice environments had significantly increased odds of death (odds ratio, 1.37; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.07-1.76) and of failure to rescue (odds ratio, 1.48; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.07-2.03). Receipt of care in National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers significantly decreased the odds of death, which can be explained partly by better nurse practice environments.


This study is one of the first to examine the predictive validity of the National Quality Forum's endorsed measure of the nurse practice environment. Improvements in the quality of nurse practice environments could reduce adverse outcomes for hospitalized surgical oncology patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk