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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


SIMONETTI, Marta et al. Nurse staffing, skill mix and job outcomes in Chilean public hospitals. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2020, vol.148, n.10, pp.1444-1451. ISSN 0034-9887.


International evidence shows that there are organizational factors and nurse job outcomes that may negatively affect healthcare quality.


To measure and analyze associations between nurse organizational factors, such as staffing ratios and skill mix, and job outcomes in public hospitals in Chile.

Material and Methods:

An observational, cross-sectional study of 1,855 registered nurses working in medical-surgical units in 37 public hospitals was conducted. Data collection followed the RN4CAST research protocol. Inferential analyses used logistic regression models.


The survey was answered by 1,395 registered nurses in 34 hospitals. The average staffing ratio was 14 patients-per-nurse, and the average skill mix was 31% registered nurses. Of all nurses, 35% reported burnout, 22% were dissatisfied, and 33% intended to leave. Being burned out increased by 9 and 6% the odds of being dissatisfied and the intent to leave, respectively (Odds ratio (OR) 1.09, p < 0.01 and 1.06, p < 0.01). Being dissatisfied increased by five times the odds of intent to leave (OR 5.19, p < 0.01).


Staffing levels, burnout, and intent to leave warrant healthcare and governmental authorities’ attention. All these factors may be threatening healthcare quality and safety.

Keywords : Burnout, Psychological; Chile; Job Satisfaction; Personnel Turnover.

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