RN4CAST-Chile builds upon two decades of global nursing outcomes research and the successful implementation of the RN4CAST study in 30 countries around the world to replicate this research for the first time in South America. Over 70 scientific papers in leading nursing and interdisciplinary journals have resulted just from the RN4CAST-EU study, making it the most productive study ever funded by the European Commission (www.rn4cast.eu). The results of this program of research have been influential in changing clinical practice, managerial policies, and governmental policies in many countries. Based upon the establishment of a link between lower patient to nurse ratios and better patient outcomes, a number of jurisdictions and countries have adopted safe nurse staffing standards including California in the U.S., Victoria and Queensland in Australia, Ireland, and Wales. Documentation that a nurse workforce qualified at least at the bachelor's level is associated with better patient outcomes including lower hospital mortality has been the catalyst for U.S. hospitals working toward a target date of 2020 to achieve at least a 80% bachelor's educated nurse workforce. The European Parliament for the first time approved a bachelor's pathway for nurse education. Additionally research from RN4CAST and its predecessor studies has been influential in creating the evidence base in support of redesigning clinical work environments to provide greater involvement of clinicians in institutional policy decisions and better managerial support to reduce operational errors in clinical settings that detract from nurses, doctors, and others providing safe clinical care. Chile will soon have comparable data to inform evidence-based decisions that hold promise for improving the outcomes of its health services.
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