Objectives To examine whether patient satisfaction with nursing care in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England is associated with the proportion of non-UK educated nurses providing care.
Design Cross-sectional analysis using data from the 2010 NHS Adult Inpatient Survey merged with data from nurse and hospital administrator surveys. Logistic regression models with corrections for clustering were used to determine whether the proportions of non-UK educated nurses were significantly related to patient satisfaction before and after taking account of other hospital, nursing and patient characteristics.
Setting 31 English NHS trusts.
Participants 12 506 patients 16 years of age and older with at least one overnight stay that completed a satisfaction survey; 2962 bedside care nurses who completed a nurse survey; and 31 NHS trusts.
Main outcome measure Patient satisfaction.
Results The percentage of non-UK educated nurses providing bedside hospital care, which ranged from 1% to 52% of nurses, was significantly associated with patient satisfaction. After controlling for potential confounding factors, each 10-point increase in the percentage of non-UK educated nurses diminished the odds of patients reporting good or excellent care by 12% (OR=0.88), and decreased the odds of patients agreeing that they always had confidence and trust in nurses by 13% (OR=0.87). Other indicators of patient satisfaction also revealed lower satisfaction in hospitals with higher percentages of non-UK educated nurses.
Conclusions Use of non-UK educated nurses in English NHS hospitals is associated with lower patient satisfaction. Importing nurses from abroad to substitute for domestically educated nurses may negatively impact quality of care.
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