Date of Conferral





Health Services


Robert Hoye


In 2014, Louisiana experienced substantive issues with quality of care in nursing homes. The state had the lowest nurse staffing level among all states, and 7,666 deficiencies for immediate jeopardy violations were recorded from 2011 to 2013. Despite ample research on nurse staffing and quality of care, there is no consensus on how higher nurse staffing relates to quality. The purpose of this quantitative, correlational research was to determine the relationship between nurse staffing levels and quality measures in Louisiana. Donabedian's category structure, process, and outcome was the conceptual framework used to develop the research questions. The data included the quality of care deficiency score and the quality measures found in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid datasets. The quality measures were the deficiencies and the prevalence of nursing home residents with pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, and physical restraints. Generalized linear models were used to analyze the relationship between nurse staffing levels and the quality measures. The findings suggested that RNs, nonprofits, chain-affiliated nursing homes, and smaller facilities are important to improve the quality of care in Louisiana nursing homes. These variables were associated with fewer quality of care deficiencies and fewer pressure ulcers. These findings have implications for social change. This information may help inform and direct policy makers in the development and implementation of Medicaid-managed long-term services and supports programs in order to improve the quality of care of a vulnerable population: the elderly and disabled.