Professor of Nursing
Edith Clemmer Steinbright Professor in Gerontology
Professor of Nursing and Sociology
Associate Director, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research
Editor, Research in Nursing and Health

With training in nursing administration, public policy, and sociology, Eileen T. Lake developed a foundational measure of nursing care performance to demonstrate nursing’s impact on patient outcomes: the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index.

Endorsed by the National Quality Forum, the index provides scientific evidence that health care settings that capitalize on nurses’ education and skills by providing competent and supportive managers, expecting physicians to treat nurses as partners in care, providing sufficient staff and resources, and encouraging nurse input on decisions achieve higher quality outcomes. Dr. Lake’s goal with the index, which is used in over 23 languages, is to motivate managers and policymakers to make nursing resources a priority investment.  

Magnet® Status, Nurse Staffing, and Patient Falls 

Dr. Lake’s study of nurse staffing in Magnet® hospitals contributed to U.S. News & World Report adding Magnet® status as a criterion in its America’s Best Hospitals designation in 2004. The American Nurses Credentialing Center confers Magnet® status on hospitals meeting high standards for patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice.  In her retrospective study of 5,388 nursing units in 108 Magnet® and 528 non-Magnet® hospitals, Dr. Lake found that the patient fall rate was five percent lower in Magnet® than non-Magnet® hospitals, after adjusting for patient characteristics such as age and gender. 

“I endeavor to demonstrate that nursing is vital to health and that fostering supportive work environments is wise policy to maximize nursing’s impact.”


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1999
  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1997
  • MA, Georgetown University, 1986
  • BSN, Duke University, 1981