The Consortium of Universities for Global Health has recognized Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing with the 2013 Drs. Anvar and Pari Velji Global Health Project of the Year Award for her global research and leadership using performance measures to demonstrate the critical impact of nurses on hospital patient outcomes. Her research, spanning 15 countries, yielded the largest-ever cross-national study of the nurse workforce and quality and safety of hospital care. Dr. Aiken directs the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at Penn Nursing and is an authority on causes, consequences, and solutions for nurse shortages around the world.
Dr. Aiken’s research, which is widely cited, demonstrated for the first time that even in countries with differently organized, financed and resourced healthcare systems, professional nurses are the cornerstone of safe, effective, patient-centered, and affordable hospital care.
Specifically, her research shows that mortality rates, complications, and staff turnover are lower and patient satisfaction and safety grades of hospitals are better when nurses have at least a bachelor’s degree education, care for fewer patients each, and when the care setting includes a supportive, problem-solving management and good relations between doctors and nurses.
“These landmark findings have transformed healthcare environments for nurses and patients. National healthcare leaders have used the evidence to better plan for quality and safe and cost effective healthcare,"said Penn Nursing Dean Afaf I. Meleis, PhD