0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.197.87.25. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Article |

Nurse Staffing and NICU Infection Rates

Jeannette A. Rogowski, PhD; Douglas Staiger, PhD; Thelma Patrick, PhD, RN; Jeffrey Horbar, MD; Michael Kenny, MS; Eileen T. Lake, PhD, RN
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(5):444-450. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.18.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Importance There are substantial shortfalls in nurse staffing in US neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) relative to national guidelines. These are associated with higher rates of nosocomial infections among infants with very low birth weights.

Objective To study the adequacy of NICU nurse staffing in the United States using national guidelines and analyze its association with infant outcomes.

Design Retrospective cohort study. Data for 2008 were collected by web survey of staff nurses. Data for 2009 were collected for 4 shifts in 4 calendar quarters (3 in 2009 and 1 in 2010).

Setting Sixty-seven US NICUs from the Vermont Oxford Network, a national voluntary network of hospital NICUs.

Participants All inborn very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants, with a NICU stay of at least 3 days, discharged from the NICUs in 2008 (n = 5771) and 2009 (n = 5630). All staff-registered nurses with infant assignments.

Exposures We measured nurse understaffing relative to acuity-based guidelines using 2008 survey data (4046 nurses and 10 394 infant assignments) and data for 4 complete shifts (3645 nurses and 8804 infant assignments) in 2009-2010.

Main Outcomes and Measures An infection in blood or cerebrospinal fluid culture occurring more than 3 days after birth among VLBW inborn infants. The hypothesis was formulated prior to data collection.

Results Hospitals understaffed 31% of their NICU infants and 68% of high-acuity infants relative to guidelines. To meet minimum staffing guidelines on average would require an additional 0.11 of a nurse per infant overall and 0.34 of a nurse per high-acuity infant. Very low-birth-weight infant infection rates were 16.4% in 2008 and 13.9% in 2009. A 1 standard deviation–higher understaffing level (SD, 0.11 in 2008 and 0.08 in 2009) was associated with adjusted odds ratios of 1.39 (95% CI, 1.19-1.62; P < .001) in 2008 and 1.40 (95% CI, 1.19-1.65; P < .001) in 2009.

Conclusions and Relevance Substantial NICU nurse understaffing relative to national guidelines is widespread. Understaffing is associated with an increased risk for VLBW nosocomial infection. Hospital administrators and NICU managers should assess their staffing decisions to devote needed nursing care to critically ill infants.

Figures in this Article

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Figures

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Graphic Jump Location

Figure. Predicted risk-adjusted infection rates by nursing unit understaffing amount.

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles
Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();