NURSING SKILL MIX SUBSTITUTIONS AND QUALITY OF CARE - AN EXPLORATION OF ASSUMPTIONS FROM THE RESEARCH LITERATURE

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Abstract

A comprehensive search of the research literature was undertaken to explore the relationship between skill substitution and quality of care. It was possible to identify three central assumptions based upon the studies reviewed. The first suggests that a rich skill mix of mostly qualified nurses is often an ineffective and inefficient way of providing health care. The second assumption is based on research which appears to indicate that a skill mix of mostly unqualified staff is an inneffective approach to health care provision. Finally, there is a plethora of research findings which suggest that the most effective and efficient way to provide health care lies in the employment of high numbers of qualified staff. This paper examines the evidence for each of these positions and highlights the inherent limitations of the underlying studies.
LanguageEnglish
Pages452-459
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995

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substitution
nursing
health care
staff
nurse
evidence
literature

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abstract = "A comprehensive search of the research literature was undertaken to explore the relationship between skill substitution and quality of care. It was possible to identify three central assumptions based upon the studies reviewed. The first suggests that a rich skill mix of mostly qualified nurses is often an ineffective and inefficient way of providing health care. The second assumption is based on research which appears to indicate that a skill mix of mostly unqualified staff is an inneffective approach to health care provision. Finally, there is a plethora of research findings which suggest that the most effective and efficient way to provide health care lies in the employment of high numbers of qualified staff. This paper examines the evidence for each of these positions and highlights the inherent limitations of the underlying studies.",
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