Performance measurement of nursing care: State of the science and the current consensus

Jack Needleman, Ellen T. Kurtzman, Kenneth W. Kizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Concerns about nurse staffing in hospitals, nursing's influence on patient safety and health care outcomes, and nurses' work environment (e.g., equipment failures, documentation burden) have led to increased interest in measuring and reporting nursing's performance. This article reviews recent efforts and issues involved in identifying a set of nursing-sensitive performance measures. Sustaining and strengthening current efforts requires developing measures that address all the domains of nursing, addressing technical issues needed to analyze the impact of nursing on patient safety and health care outcomes, developing data systems that provide the information needed to implement the model system, regularly improving the set of endorsed standards to reflect the most current science and empirical evidence, and persuading all health care stakeholders that measurement and reporting nursing-sensitive standards make a difference in the care and quality that are delivered. Each of these tasks requires substantial development work and construction and maintenance of the infrastructure to sustain the performance measurement efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Measurement
  • Nurse staffing
  • Nursing care
  • Performance improvement
  • Quality indicators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Health Policy


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