Debate continues between the contribution of education level and clinical expertise in the nursing practice environment. Research suggests a link between Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) nurses and positive patient outcomes such as lower mortality, decreased falls, and fewer medication errors. Purpose: To examine if there a negative correlation between patient falls and the level of nurse education at an urban hospital located in Midwest Illinois during the years 2010-2014? Methods: A retrospective crosssectional cohort analysis was conducted using data from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) from the years 2010-2014. Sample: Inpatients aged ≥ 18 years who experienced a unintentional sudden descent, with or without injury that resulted in the patient striking the floor or object and occurred on inpatient nursing units. Results: The regression model was constructed with annual patient falls as the dependent variable and formal education and a log transformed variable for percentage of certified nurses as the independent variables. The model overall is a good fit, F (2,22) = 9.014, p = .001, adj. R2 = .40. Conclusion: Annual patient falls will decrease by increasing the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees and/or certifications from a professional nursing board-governing body.
Coto, J.A., Wilder, C., and Carlson, L. (2016). An explanatory study of patient falls. Proceedings from the 2016 Midwest DSI Annual Conference, Valparaiso, IN. 71-87.