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Infographic: Why Nurses Are Essential to Delivering Cost-Effective Care

by Lindsay Wilcox

In 2024, nearly 3.2 million registered nurses will be employed in the United States, an increase of 16 percent from today, according to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also estimates an estimated 1.2 million open positions for nurses from 2014 to 2022 and predicts that more than 700,000 nurses will retire during that same time.

Since demand is currently greater than supply for qualified nurses, it’s important to encourage more students to attend nursing school, train and hire nurse educators, and ease the burden on current nurses so they can care for patients more effectively.

The importance of high nurse-to-patient ratios

Those who take travel nursing jobs fill gaps at facilities in underserved areas and provide care to those who wouldn’t otherwise receive it, but the need for staff nurses remains great. Here are some of the statistics the University of San Francisco included in its infographic about why nurses are essential to delivering cost-effective care:

  • Patients cared for by nurses with bachelor’s degree are 18.7 percent less likely to be readmitted and have 1.9 percent shorter hospital stays than patients cared for by nurses without a bachelor’s degree
  • Hospitals with higher nurse-to-patient ratios record more than 6,200 fewer infections than those with lower nurse-to-patient ratios — and a reduction in infections saves as much as $68 million annually
  • 86 percent of nurses say it’s difficult to provide care and comfort to patients and their families at times because they have too many patients to take care of
  • 81 percent of nurses say they don’t have enough time to educate patients on treatment or recuperation procedures before they are discharged
  • Implementing higher nurse-to-patient ratios lowers pneumonia patients’ readmission rates by 10 percent, heart failure patients’ readmission rates by 7 percent, and acute myocardial infarction patients’ by 6 percent

Get more information about improving ratios and, in turn, patient outcomes in the University of San Francisco infographic below!

USF The University of San Francisco

About Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a healthcare writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

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