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Mortality Rates Lower For Patients Cared For By Nurses With Bachelor's Degree, Study Finds

Update Date: Nov 11, 2014 10:03 AM EST

Patients who receive most of their nursing care from nurses with bachelor science degrees had better care, fewer readmissions and shorter stays, a new study has found. 

Study looking at only one hospital found that when patients received 10 percent more of their care from BSN-educated nurses, it reduced the odds of mortality for those patients by roughly 11 percent.  

Hospital stays shortened by about 2 percent and the odds of readmissions dropped by nearly 19 percent, the press release added.

"The real contribution of this study is that when we looked at patients in the same hospital, who were hospitalized on the same unit with the same diagnosis, patients who received more than 80 percent of nursing care from BSN-educated nurses tended to do better-despite often being sicker at the time of admission," said Olga Yakusheva, U-M associate professor of nursing, who conducted the research while at Marquette University with co-authors Richard Lindrooth of the University of Colorado and Marquette's Marianne Weiss, in the press release.

Researchers estimated that fewer readmissions and shorter stays could save roughly $5.6 million annually which is enough money to recoup the upfront hiring or training costs of adding BSNs. 

"This makes you think, how can we give all of our patients an equal opportunity to receive the high-quality care they deserve?" Yakusheva said. "The answer is, or at least seems to be, investing in nurse education. Our study shows that these investments can also have real cost-saving effects in the long term."

The study was published in the journal Medical Care. 

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