Nurse staffing increasingly has become a topic of research studies. Data currently exist on the relationship between adverse events and nurse staffing.1,2  Data also exist on the relationship between fatigue and patient outcomes. Knowing the right number of nurses to have and how to optimally manage their schedules is a goal that all hospitals would like to achieve. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has listed Appropriate Staffing as an essential standard for a healthy work environment (HWE). AACN states that “Staffing must ensure the effective match between patient needs and nurse competency.”4(p28) Many critical elements of this standard relate to the structures and processes necessary for staffing that matches the needs of patients with nurses’ competencies, which ultimately leads to an HWE.

Appropriate staffing is necessary to keep patients safe. Numerous staffing bills have...

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