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This study was originally commissioned by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, to gain a better understanding of efforts to address the nurse staffing crisis confronting our country and to help inform AFSCME's endeavors. The study provides information that will be useful to all those who share our concern about this problem and can lead to more effective efforts to implement solutions.

AFSCME thanks Gordon Lafer, Ph.D., Principal Author; Helen Moss, M.A., Faculty; Rachel Kirtner, J.D., Strategic Analyst; and Vicki Rees, Research Assistant, at the University of Oregon's Labor Education and Research Center, who conducted the research and wrote the study. AFSCME would also like to thank the many individuals who provided comments, assistance and advice for this project. We are pleased to be able to share the best practices identified.

Although most of the data available to researchers focuses on registered nurses, AFSCME appreciates that the skills of licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses, as well as other members of the health care team, are important in providing high-quality patient care. Furthermore, while this study applies to acute care hospitals, AFSCME recognizes that the staffing crisis confronts all kinds of practice settings. The best practices identified in this study should be considered for those health care professions and practice settings as well.

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