Nursing Leadership: challenging consultants

Posted on January 8, 2011


Nursing Leadership, 23(3) 2010: 15-17


Evidence-Based Research in Nursing Administration: The Time Is Now

Susan VanDeVelde-Coke

Nursing Leadership

Different models of nursing care delivery were described briefly from nurses working in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Some representatives also discussed the regional mandates to change skill mix, influenced more by economic pressures than by evidence-based practice. Unlike the cost-cutting exercises of the mid-1990s, which eliminated large numbers of nursing positions, nurse executives, provincial nursing representatives and national nursing bodies are all reaching out to one another to share findings from research on different models of nursing care, and to suggest ways to use research tools to produce better metrics to evaluate alternative approaches to patient care delivery. In addition, nurse executives facing recommendations from consulting firms to change skill mix as a cost-cutting strategy have been successful at using research methods to measure the acuity and complexity of nursing care and, in turn, successfully challenge assertions from external consultants. This approach has been successful in a number of hospitals across the country, and supports the urgent need to find effective ways to measure what nurses do, together with the central role that nurses play in patient care delivery.

Posted in: Ratios, Staffing