Higher standards improve staffing levels in nursing homes, study finds

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Better reimbursement rates allow nursing homes to increase nurse staffing levels. But a new study indicates that simply raising staffing standards may do the trick, too.

States that have instituted higher minimum staffing standards for registered nurses had significantly higher RN staffing levels in their nursing homes, according to a study led by Charlene Harrington, Ph.D., R.N., a professor of sociology and nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.

Long-term care providers in states with higher RN staffing standards also were found to have higher overall nursing levels, including licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses and certified nursing assistants, according to researchers. The study was published in the journal Health Services Research.
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