Journal of Student Nursing Research


Through a review of journal articles and other literature, this paper highlights some of the challenges and rewards of designing, implementing, and interpreting quantitative measurements of the contribution by registered nurses to the quality of care in an inpatient setting. As performance measurement becomes the standard response to the rising demand for high-quality and low-cost hospital care, the nursing profession has powerful incentives to develop and utilize nursing-sensitive quality indicators. Through the use of pilot studies, research, education, and practice can be applied towards developing nursing-sensitive quality indicators and measurement methodology. In this way, nurse researchers can work hand in hand with government agencies and hospital administrators to test and refine new approaches to measuring nursing contribution to patient health outcomes (some of which may be adapted from other disciplines) that will then be assessed thoroughly in other settings to determine their applicability on a wider scale.