Have recently read, and highly recommend, this article from the Aug. 13 & 20, 2012 issue of The New Yorker: Big Med, pg. 52, under Annals of Health Care, by Atul Gawande. The subtitle explains the thrust of the article: "Restaurant chains have managed to combine quality control, cost control, and innovation. Can health care?"
Particularly entertaining (the article is very well-written) and thought-provoking was the discussion of the efficiencies and cost control sought and achieved by a large restaurant chain, contrasted with the apparent absence of, or even resistance to, efficiency and cost control by the practice of medicine in the U.S.
One of the clear implications (for all of us) of the article was that if and when U.S. medical practice embraces the ideals of the subtitle, how nursing is done will very likely change for the betterment of the patients.
Not preaching here, at all; merely recommending reading the article if you can locate it.