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Established in 1989 as one of the first centers to scale up rigorous research on the impact of nursing on patient outcomes, the Center uses evidence to inform policy and produces the next generation of scientists.

Center Associate Director, Dr. Matthew D. McHugh, Elected for Membership to the National Academy of Medicine

Matthew D. McHugh, PhD, JD, RN, MPH, CRNP, FAANElection to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Election recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. More


Center Director, Dr. Linda Aiken, Awarded the Highest Honor from the American Academy of Nursing

This Living Legend award is bestowed upon a person who has made significant contributions to nursing and health care over the course of their career.

The official designation will be made at the Academy's Transforming Health, Driving Policy conference to be held virtually October 29-31, 2020.

Our Director, Dr. Linda Aiken, is a renowned researcher and advocate whose pioneering work has transformed nursing by demonstrating the value of baccalaureate education on garnering improved patient outcomes, the impact of safe nurse staffing on saving lives while reducing costs, and the need for positive clinical working environments to improve nurse retention. More

“Aiken is a recognized leader at the local, state, national, and international levels and has had a hand in improving outcomes for millions of patients worldwide. She has mentored countless students and leaders at Penn and beyond. This honor is incredibly well deserved, and Penn Nursing takes great pride in celebrating her accomplishments,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel.”

Wide Variation Across Hospitals in Nurse Staffing Is Threat to Public’s Health

According to the new CHOPR study published August 18, 2020 in BMJ Quality & Safety, many hospitals in New York and Illinois were understaffed before the first surge of critically ill Covid-19 patients.

The paper titled, “Chronic Hospital Nurse Understaffing Meets Covid-19,” documented staffing ratios that varied from 3 to 10 patients for each nurse on general adult medical and surgical units. ICU nurse staffing was better but also varied significantly across hospitals. MORE 

“Half of nurses right before the Covid-19 emergency scored in the high burnout range due to high workloads. It is an immense credit to nurses that in such an exhausted and depleted state before the pandemic they were able to reach deep within themselves to stay at the hospital bedside very long hours and save lives during the emergency.” 
Karen Lasater, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOP...Karen Lasater, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

CHOPR Research on health disparities and inequities even more relevant during pandemic.

Well-documented research from CHOPR investigators spanning three decades has demonstrated persistent disparities in outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities, especially in settings with insufficient nursing resources. From the most vulnerable infants to older African American/Black patients, the alarming and unprecedented COVID outbreak is shining a bright light on health disparities that have been apparent for some time. Read more about the Center’s history of groundbreaking research on health disparities and racial inequities from this link

“Now is the time to support our frontline care providers with adequate resources, while also ensuring that vulnerable populations have equal access to high quality care.”
J. Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Calling for nursing support amid pandemic.

Penn Nursing and CHOPR researchers, nurse leaders and executives from around the world call for rapid policy reform and investment in nurses and nursing in order to leverage the skills of this global workforce.

There are close to 28 million nurses around the world who comprise a global workforce that delivers about 90 percent of primary healthcare, including frontline response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring their optimal contribution and continued well-being amid the myriad consequences of COVID-19 will increase the potential for measurable and improved health outcomes. More