By Lynne Adkins

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new survey shows that patients have shorter hospital stays and better outcomes when cared for by nurses with experience and job longevity.

It’s no surprise that more experienced and better-educated nurses would give better care and result in shorter hospital stays, according to Patricia Eakin, a registered nurse and president of PASNAP, a Pennsylvania union for registered nurses and allied professionals.  And retaining such staffers, she says, requires avoiding job burnout.

“I think it is common sense,” she tells KYW Newsradio. “Our experience has been that common sense says you need to have an adequate nurse-to-patient ratio so the nurse isn’t running round like a chicken with her head cut off, trying to put out fires.”

She says retaining quality professionals involves workable nurse-to-patient ratios, treating workers with respect, and good salaries.  She says hospitals benefit financially as patients who do better have shorter, less expensive inpatient stays.

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