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Adequate emergency nurse staffing needed to reduce fatigue, association says

nurse standing outside emergency room
Photo: monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto

Des Plaines, IL — Safe and appropriate staffing levels in emergency rooms can help reduce fatigue among nurses, the Emergency Nurses Association asserts in a recent draft position statement.

ENA emphasizes that “emergency nurses are essential to the delivery of safe, quality, cost-effective emergency care,” and declares that such care is optimally delivered in emergency rooms with a minimum of two registered nurses on duty. The statement goes on to say that reducing nurse fatigue through appropriate staffing “promotes nursing safety, nurse retention and job satisfaction.”

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 1.7 million registered nurses are employed in general medical or surgical hospitals.

“It is fundamental when conducting any evaluation of staffing and productivity to include the impact on emergency nurse safety, patient and staff satisfaction, and the recruitment and retention of a qualified nurse,” the statement reads. “Nurse-sensitive indicators reflective of patient outcomes can include time required for direct and indirect care delivery, employee injury and illness rates, turnover, overtime, compliance with health care regulations, and patient and nurse satisfaction.”

Comments on the draft position statement are due July 25.

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