Fact Sheet for Nurse Week Discussion
Did you know?
- There are nearly 3.1 million registered nurses in the United
- National Nurses Week has a distinctive history.
- The American Nurses Association was founded in 1896.
- Isabel Adams Hampton Robb was the first president of the American
- The nation's registered nurse (RN) workforce is aging significantly
and the number of full-time equivalent RNs per capita is forecast
to peak around the year 2007 and decline steadily thereafter,
according to Peter Buerhaus of Vanderbilt University's nursing
school. Buerhaus also predicted that the number of RNs would fall
20 percent below the demand by 2010. (Journal of the American
Medical Association, June 14, 2000)
- Research indicates that advanced practice nurses can provide
60 to 80 percent of primary care services as well as or better
than physicians and at a lesser cost.
- 49 states and the District of Columbia allow advanced practice
nurses to prescribe medications.
- The January 5, 2000, edition of the Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA) reported the results of a study
which revealed patients fared just as well when treated by nurse
practitioners as they did when treated by physicians.
- The nation's nurses rank second for their honesty and integrity,
with 84 percent of Americans rating them "high" or "very
high," according to a 2001 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Firefighters,
who were given high ratings by 90 percent of Americans, displaced
nurses from the poll's top slot, following the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. Nurses had previously rated first for two years in a
row after being added to the list in 1999.
- According to a 1989 study published by the New England Journal
of Medicine (325 (25), 1720-1725), hospitals with more registered
nurses on staff and higher ratios of nurses to patients had 6.3
fewer deaths per 1,000 patients than hospitals that did not have
- The link between adequate and appropriate nurse staffing and
positive patient outcomes has been shown in several ANA publications
and studies, including ANA's Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes
in Inpatient Hospital Settings. This report, published in
May 2000, found that shorter lengths of stay are strongly related
to higher RN staffing per acuity-adjusted day and that patient
morbidity indicators for preventable conditions are inversely
related to RN skill mix.
- A January 2001 ANA Staffing Survey revealed that America's RNs
feel that deteriorating working conditions have led to a decline
in the quality of nursing care. Specifically, 75 percent of nurses
surveyed felt the quality of nursing care at the facility in which
they work has declined over the past two years, while 56 percent
of nurses surveyed believe that the time they have available for
patient care has decreased. In addition, over 40 percent said
they would not feel comfortable having a family member or someone
close to them be cared for in the facility in which they work,
and over 54 percent would not recommend the profession to their
children or their friends. These statistics reveal a disturbing
- America's registered nurses report that health and safety concerns
play a major role in their decisions to remain in the profession,
according to findings from a Health and Safety Survey released
in September 2001. In the survey, over 70 percent (70.5 percent)
of nurses cited the acute and chronic effects of stress and overwork
as one of their top three health and safety concerns. Yet nurses
continue to be pushed harder -- with more than two-thirds reporting
that they work some type of unplanned overtime every month.
- The American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Nursing Services
Recognition Program offers guidelines designed to shift hospital
administrators' focus from expensive, short-sighted recruitment
efforts to meaningful retention strategies. Hospitals that have
been designated as "magnets" have been found in studies
to attract and retain professional nurses who experienced a high
degree of professional and personal satisfaction through their
practice. Currently, 22 hospitals and long-term care facilities
in Florida have been awarded "magnet" recognition, but
the essential "magnet" criteria can be used by nurses
and administrators to assess their own facilities for improvements.
- A study conducted by the Nursing Credentialing Research Coalition
found that certification has a dramatic impact on the personal,
professional and practice outcomes of certified nurses. Overall,
nurses in the study stated that certification enabled them to
experience fewer adverse events and errors in patient care than
before they were certified. Additional results revealed that certified
- Expressed more confidence in detecting early signs of complications;
- Reported more personal growth and job satisfaction;
- Believed they were viewed as credible providers;
- Received high patient satisfaction ratings;
- Reported more effective communication and collaboration
with other health care providers; and
- Experienced fewer disciplinary events and work-related injuries.