Project Description

Code Green

We are on the verge of the nation’s worst nursing shortage in history. Dedicated nurses are leaving hospitals in droves, and there are not enough new recruits to the profession to meet demand. Even hospitals that were once very highly regarded for the quality of their nursing care, such as Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, now struggle to fill vacant positions. What happened?

Dana Beth Weinberg argues that hospital restructuring in the 1990s is to blame. In their attempts to retain profit margins or even just to stay afloat, hospitals adopted a common set of practices to cut costs and increase revenues. Many strategies squeezed greater productivity out of nurses and other hospital workers. Nurses’ workloads increased to the point that even the most skilled nurses questioned whether they could provide minimal, safe care to patients. As hospitals hemorrhaged money, it seemed that no one—not hospital administrators, not doctors—felt they could afford to listen to nurses.

Through a careful look at the effects of the restructuring strategies chosen and implemented by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the author examines management’s efforts to balance service and survival. By showing the effects of hospital restructuring on nurses’ ability to plan, evaluate, and deliver excellent care, Weinberg provides a stinging indictment of standard industry practices that underestimate the contribution nurses make both to hospitals and to patient care.


ILR Press (November 14, 2011)




Amazon Digital Services LLC

More On Code Green…

Code Green may be the publication that Dana Weinberg is most well known for. It has been translated into Japanese and just last year into Korean. In 2009, it won the media award from the Connecticut Nurses’ Association
The book Code Green by Dana Weinberg has been professionally reviewed in a number of outlets:

Citing of  Code Green

Alden, Sharyn. 2012. “Supporting Front-Line Hospital Staff Leads to Safer and Happier Patients.” Health Behavior News Service June 21, 2012.

Grinspun, Doris. 2007. “’Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes, and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care: The Culture and Politics of Health Care Work’ and ‘The Complexities of Care: Nursing Reconsidered.’” Nursing Inquiry 14(3): 263-264.

Stephen Timmons. 2005. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Work and Occupations 32(3): 370-372.

Longley, Marcus et al. 2005. “Book Reviews.” Sociology of Health & Illness 27, no. 4 (May 2005): 541-550.

Montgomery, Kathleen. 2004. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Administrative Science Quarterly 49 (1): 136-138.

Miller, Margaret M. 2004. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Nursing Education Perspectives 25 (3): 146.

Wilmot, Stephen. 2004. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Nursing Ethics 11(2): 216-217.

Naughton, Maureen. 2004. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Nursing Management 11(2): 33.

Kim, Kimberly H. 2004.“Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Journal of Cultural Diversity 10(4):134-135.

Wall, Barbara Mann. 2003. “What Price Efficiency?” Health Affairs 22(5):255-6.

Mark, Barbara A. 2003. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association 290 (16): 2196-2197.

Norden, Margaret K. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Library Journal 128 (8): 148.

Volino, M. A. “Code Green: Money-Driven Hospitals and the Dismantling of Nursing.” Choice  41(4):742.

Dana Beth Weinberg’s book is right on target, portraying how the relentless financialization of our health care system destroyed one of the finest―if not the finest―hospital nursing service in America. Code Green is a well-written demonstration of how organizational change can disrupt the work of even the most conscientious professionals, and a warning to us all of the human dangers raised by an unthinking spread of business logic.

Daniel F. Chambliss, Hamilton College, author of Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses, and the Social Organization of Ethics

Dana Beth Weinberg provides a compelling account of the dismantling of one of the few hospitals in America that specialized in care. This is a ‘must read’ for all who seek to understand the nurse shortage.

Linda H. Aiken, University of Pennsylvania

Weinberg’s book is a powerful description of the issues facing both nurses and hospitals at a time when the entire health care industry is concerned with a growing shortage of nurses. Her portrayal of the impediments faced by nurses in their efforts to continue to provide quality patient care are well-documented, and, in many instances, frightening. The book makes clear nurses’ contributions to patient safety and quality-even if the nurses themselves were unable to do so.” —

Barbara A. Mark, Ph.D., RN * Journal of the American Medical Association *, Your Content Goes Here

“Hospitals frequently devise a system of color codes to convey a message to their personnel succinctly and exclusively. Weinberg chooses ‘code green’ to refer to the financial crisis that hospitals are facing today, the ensuing trend to merge hospitals, and its implications for the nursing profession…. This thought-provoking book gives a uniquely personal perspective. It is suitable for specialized healthcare collections in academic, larger public, and medical libraries.”

Library Journal, Your Content Goes Here