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Ideally, a measure of nursing staff adequacy indicates the volume of nurses of a certain skill level that is necessary for the given volume of patients given the intensity of nursing care required for those patients.
NIWs, similar in nature to relative value units used for physician payment, match the types and intensity of nursing care provided with patients' diagnoses, procedures, and age.
These data can then be used to explore models that demonstrate the relationship between DRGs and the intensity of nursing care as well as approaches to position nursing as a revenue-generating service rather than a cost-consuming expense.

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