Background: Better nursing practice environment has been considered a promising strategy for improving patient safety and care quality in hospital. However, empirical evidence is sparse on the differences in patient safety and its relation with nursing practice environment.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the association of nursing practice environment and nurse-perceived patient safety in Korean hospitals
Methods: A convenience sample (n=506) of five hospitals from Ulsan city in South Korea comprising approximately 100 or more beds was selected. All staff nurses working in medical, surgical and intensive care units and responsible for direct care were invited to voluntarily complete an anonymous questionnaire. We collected data on nursing practice environment, nurse staffing level, nurse perceived patient safety, nurse-perceived quality of care and nurse characteristics through a nurse survey. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression models were used in order to explore the effects of nursing practice environment on patient safety.
Results: Estimates from regressions indicated that better nursing practice environment was associated with higher patient safety when controlling various hospital and nurse based covariates; and this association persisted among units of different types.
Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that improving nursing practice environment should be considered as an important strategy for promoting patient safety in hospitals and nursing practice environment is critical for achieving better quality of care.