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Nurses and nursing support matter: interpreting the evidence
  1. Jack Needleman1,
  2. Patricia W Stone2
  1. 1Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2Center for Health Policy, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York City, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jack Needleman, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; needlema{at}ucla.edu

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To the editors,

In their editorial commenting on our paper ‘Association of registered nurse and nursing support staffing with inpatient hospital mortality’,1 Aiken and Sloane present our study results, conclusions and implications as if we examined the impact of substituting nursing support staff for professional nurses or registered nurses (RNs). We did not examine substitution of support staff for RNs (commonly called skill mix) in this study and, as Aiken and Sloane acknowledge, we stated our findings should not be interpreted to mean that nursing aides can safely substitute for RNs. Nonetheless, Aiken and Sloane discuss our current paper as though it is about skill …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @JackNeedleman

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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