12 May, 16 | by Emma Gray
International Nurses Day, celebrated on 12th May each year and coinciding with Florence Nightingale’s birthday, marks the important contributions nurses make to society. As the single largest group of health professionals, nurses care from the first moments of life right through to the final days. To show our appreciation of the work that nurses do, BMJ Open are joining in the celebrations today with a round-up of some of our most popular papers on nursing.
Published in 2015, Dall’Ora et al surveyed registered nurses across 12 European countries to find associations between working 12 hour shifts and job satisfaction, burnout and intention to leave. Receiving over 10,000 downloads since publication, this paper has some important conclusions, finding that longer work hours were indeed associated with adverse outcomes – not only for nurses but potentially for patients as well.
Also published last year was a cross-sectional study into the prevalence of workplace violence that nurses have encountered in Chinese hospitals. The authors, Jiao et al, found that a total of 7.8% of the nurses interviewed for the study had experienced physical violence at work in the previous year, and 71.9% reported experiencing non-physical violence. They aimed to identify risk factors and provide a basis for future interventions, concluding that preplacement education for high-risk groups should take place to reduce workplace violence, and increased awareness from the public as well as policymakers is necessary to develop effective control strategies at individual, hospital and national levels.
One of our most popular papers this year, receiving a press release and over 7,000 downloads since its publication in February, is the paper ‘Registered nurse, healthcare support worker, medical staffing levels and mortality in English hospital trusts: a cross-sectional study’ by Griffiths et al. Aiming to examine associations between mortality and registered nurse staffing in English hospital trusts, the authors found that ward-based registered nurse staffing is significantly associated with reduced patient mortality, as are higher doctor staffing levels. They conclude by saying that current policies and practices on the staffing in hospital wards should be reviewed in line with the evidence, to reduce risks to patients.
A paper by Schlicht et al published back in 2013 sought to determine the safety and acceptability of the Australian TrueBlue model of nurse-managed care of depression in patients with diabetes or heart disease in the primary healthcare setting. Using a mixed methods study involving a clinical record audit as well as focus groups and interviews with nurses, the study found that nurses were able to identify, assess and manage mental health risks in patients with diabetes or heart disease. The nurse consultations also meant that there was an opportunity for patients to set goals, as they received scheduled follow-up visits and were monitored regularly, leading to stepped care when appropriate.
The final paper in this short overview of our content on nursing is a review of the cost-effectiveness of nurse practitioners in primary and specialised ambulatory care. A systematic review of randomised controlled trials, conducted by Martin-Misener et al, found that nurse practitioners in alternative provider ambulatory primary care roles have equivalent or better patient outcomes than comparators and are potentially cost-saving. This evidence is promising, but there are few studies contributing to this evidence base at the moment: the authors conclude that while some evidence indicates nurse practitioners in complementary specialised ambulatory care roles improve patient outcomes, their cost-effectiveness requires further study.
More on International Nurses Day:
BMJ is offering free content and discounts on resources for nursing professionals until 12th June: bmj.co/IND16
To join in with the celebrations, tweet today to show appreciation of nurses using the hashtags #thankanurse #IND2016 and #InternationalNursesDay