Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Professor Anne McMurray

Second Advisor

Ms Bronwyn Jones


A descriptive quantitative study was conducted to determine what factors nurses considered when discharge planning, and how these factors compared with factors identified in the literature as being effective in planning for discharge. This study was undertaken because with the intended Prospective Payment System (PPS) of funding to hospitals, it is essential that Western Australian Clinical Registered Nurses are able to prepare patients for discharge effectively to prevent the financial burden of cost outliers and re-admissions. Anderson and Steinberg ( 1984) in their studies of factors that influence the cost of hospital care for the elderly, found that the results of inappropriate and premature discharges resulted in a 22% readmission rate within 60 days of discharge for all Medicare hospitalisation. Their (1988) study of readmission rates of Medicare beneficiaries between 1974 and 1977 showed that the added costs associated readmissions cost the U.S. government more than US$2.5 billion per annum. It would seem probable that such a system introduced into the Australian health:care system will have the potential to produce similar effects for Western Australian patients, nurses and nursing.