Association of Nurse Staffing with Nosocomial Infections of Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants

Young Joo Lee, Taewha Lee, Eunhee Cho, Sohee Park, Choon Seon Park

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Prior studies have reported inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between nurse staffing and nosocomial infections in very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants. Little is known about whether similar associations occur in Korea. The purpose of this study was to identify the nurse staffing of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Korea and to verify the association between nurse staffing and nosocomial infections among VLBW infants in NICUs. We selected 4654 VLBW infants admitted to 52 hospitals. Nosocomial infections were defined as incidence of bloodstream infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), or rotavirus infection. The average number of NICU patients per nurse was 4.51(minimum-maximum: 2.38-8.16). Hospitals with a higher number of patients per nurse exhibited a significant increased UTI rate (P =.005) and rotavirus infection rate (P =.025) in the univariate analysis. After adjusting for all patient and hospital characteristics, UTI significantly increased with increasing number of patients per nurse (odds ratio [OR] = 1.79; 95% confidence interval, 1.29-2.47), while bloodstream infection (OR = 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-1.09) and rotavirus infection (OR = 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.92-1.41) were not significant. These findings revealed that a nurse staffing in NICUs is an important factor for preventing UTI among VLBW infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E12-E18
JournalJournal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially funded by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Lambda Alpha Chapter-at-Large and Mo-Im Kim Nursing Research Institute of Yonsei University in 2015.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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