Nursing-Sensitive Outcomes: State of the Science

Nursing-Sensitive Outcomes: State of the Science – Book Review

Maria S. Ortiz

Diane M. Doran, ed 2003, 363 pages $44.95 paperback

Nursing-Sensitive Outcomes is part of a large project to increase nursing’s accountability in a health care system by measuring nursing-sensitive outcomes. Specifically, the project aims to identify nursing-sensitive patient outcomes and nurses’ inputs that can be taken from patients’ charts or other formats and kept in administrative databases for use in decision-making. This book presents the project’s review of nursing-outcome literature, which the author directed. She and her research team conducted a critical review of the literature on identified nursing-sensitive outcomes, appraised the evidence, and evaluated standard assessment tools by which those outcomes could be measured.

The author offers considerable background information that helps readers understand the project’s critical focus and the standard of care in acute care, long-term care, complex continuing care, and home-care settings. The quality of the evidence and the direction she gives for the selection of outcome variables, as well as the approaches to measurement are outstanding. She provides the structural validation that captures the meaning, purpose, and importance of a reliable and valid standardized nursing database. Her focus on the accountability of nurses is appropriate and justifies the research performed in the field of nursing.

This book reinforced for me how significant effective nursing care is to patient satisfaction. The importance of the development of database systems is to capture the domain of nursing practice and make it visible.

The book is written in clear, easy-to-understand language and should serve as an excellent introduction to nursing-outcome research for undergraduate and graduate student nurses. It also provides valuable resources that can assist master’s degree and doctoral students in developing the methodology and basis for their graduate research. Policy writers and decision makers who create clinical databases for quality monitoring and improvement should find the research invaluable. In addition, seasoned researchers would benefit from reading this book because of the directions for further research outlined at the end of each chapter.

The book is well balanced and organized in an easy-to-follow manner. The first chapter provides a thorough explanation of the research framework. It begins with an introduction to research, which is very important, and prepares the reader for the format of the following chapters. The literature review and analysis, reliability, validity, and other basic research tools are outlined in a clear and concise manner. Throughout the book, the author uses evidence to demonstrate the literature review’s goals. The relationship between nursing practice and patient outcome is displayed clearly in easy-to-read tables.

I enjoyed the author’s style of writing. Her dedication to nursing as a profession is evident in the way she communicates her interest in the patient, the nurse, and the system outcome. Reading this book makes me feel good about being part of the nursing profession.

This book is available from Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 40 Tall Pine Drive, Sudbury, MA 01776,







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