Study shows NYC hospitals understaffed in weeks before coronavirus
The city’s hospitals were suffering a nurse staffing shortage just weeks before the coronavirus epidemic swamped the five boroughs with sickness and death, according to a new University of Pennsylvania study.
The study, which surveyed more than 4,100 nurses in New York state and 2,300 in Illinois, showed that New York City’s hospitals on average were more understaffed than the rest of the state.
The study, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, surveyed nurses between Dec. 19 and Feb. 24 — just before the coronavirus pandemic surged through New York.
The staffing level in adult medical and surgical units in New York and Illinois hospitals varied from three to nearly 10 patients per nurse, and New York City’s hospital’s averaged more than six patients per nurse — higher than the rest of the New York state and all of Illinois.
Half of the nurses surveyed said they were burned out, 31 % said they were dissatisfied with their jobs, and 22% said they intend to leave their jobs within a year.