Nurse Education Improves Post-Op Survival in Dementia Patients

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Having more nurses in the hospital with at least a bachelor of science degree in nursing is tied to lower post-surgical mortality among patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Having more nurses in the hospital with at least a bachelor of science degree in nursing is tied to lower post-surgical mortality among patients with Alzheimer's disease.

HealthDay News — Having more nurses in the hospital with at least a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) is tied to lower post-surgical mortality among patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD), according to a study published online March 20 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Elizabeth M. White, M.S.N., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed data from Medicare claims (2006 to 2007) linked with the Multi-State Nursing Care and Patient Safety Survey of nurses in four states in order to assess the association between nursing education and post-surgery mortality among individuals with ADRD.

The researchers found that after controlling for hospital, procedure, and individual characteristics, each 10 percent increase in the proportion of BSN nurses was associated with 4 percent lower odds of death after surgery (odds ratio, 0.96) for individuals without ADRD, but 10 percent lower odds of post-surgical death (odds ratio, 0.90) for those with ADRD.

"Having more BSN nurses in the hospital improves the odds of good outcomes for all individuals and has a much greater effect in individuals with ADRD," the authors write.

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