Joanne Spetz, PhD

Professor, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, Department of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, and Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing

Joanne Spetz, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Institute for Health Policy Studies and in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the Associate Director of Research at the Healthforce Center at UCSF, and the Director of the UCSF Health Workforce Research Center. Her fields of specialty are labor economics, public finance, and econometrics. She has led research on the health care workforce, organization of the hospital industry, impact of health information technology, effect of medical marijuana policy on youth substance use, and quality of patient care. Joanne's teaching is in the areas of quantitative research methods, health care financial management, and health economics.

Joanne is a member of the Institute of Medicine Standing Committee on Credentialing Research in Nursing and was a consultant to the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Nursing. She frequently provides testimony and technical assistance to state and federal agencies and policymakers. Joanne received her Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University after studying economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Publications: Spetz, J, Mitchell, S, and Seago, JA. The growth of multihospital firms in California. Health Affairs, 2000, 19(8): 224-230.

Spetz, J, Smith, MW, and Ennis, SF. Physician incentives and the timing of cesarean sections:  Evidence from California. Medical Care, 2001, 39(6): 536-550.

Spetz, J and Given, R. The future of the nursing shortage: Will wage increases close the gap? Health Affairs, 2003, 22(6): 199-206.

Spetz, J, Donaldson, N, Aydin, C, Brown, D.  How Many Nurses Per Patient?  Measurements of Nurse Staffing in Health Services Research.  Health Services Research, 2008, 43 (5): 1674-1692.

Mark, B, Harless, D, Spetz, J.  The impact of California minimum staffing regulations on RN wages.  Health Affairs, 2009, web exclusive: w326-w334.

Chapman, SA, Spetz, J, Kaiser, J, Seago, JA.  How have mandated nurse staffing ratios impacted hospitals? Perspectives from California hospital leaders.  Journal of Health Care Management, 2009, 54 (5): 321-336.

Spetz, J, Keane, D. IT Implementation in a Rural Hospital: A Cautionary Tale.  Journal of Health Care Management, 2009, 54 (5): 337-348.

Staiger, D, Spetz, J, Phibbs, C. Is There Monopsony in the Labor Market?  Evidence from a Natural Experiment.  Journal of Labor Economics, 2010, 28 (2): 211-236.

Waneka, R, Spetz, J. How do hospital information technology systems impact nurses and nursing care?  Journal of Nursing Administration, 2010, 40 (12): 509-514.

Spetz, J, Ash, M, Konstantinidis C, Herrera, C. The Effect of Unions on the Distribution of Wages of Hospital-Employed Registered Nurses.  Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2011, 20 (1-2): 60-67.

Seago JA, Herrera, C-N, Ash, M, Keane, D, Spetz, J.  Hospital RN Job Satisfaction and Nurse Unions.  Journal of Nursing Administration, 2011, 41 (3): 109-114. PMID: 21336038.

Pittman, P, Herrera, C, Spetz, J, Davis, C. Immigration and Contract Problems Experienced by Foreign-Educated Nurses.  Medical Care Research and Review, 2012, 69 (3): 351-365. PMID: 22311956.

Spetz, J, Phibbs, CS, Burgess, JF. What Determines Successful Implementation of Inpatient Information Technology Systems? American Journal of Managed Care, 2012, 19 (3): 157-162. PMID: 22435909.

Scheffler, R, Bruckner, T, Spetz, J. The Labor Market for Human Resources for Health in Low and Middle Income Countries. Human Resources for Health Observer, 2012, 11.

Mark, B, Harless, D, Spetz, J, Reiter, K, Pink, G. California's Minimum Nurse Staffing Legislation: Results from a Natural Experiment. Health Services Research, 2012, online September 20.

Blegen, MA, Goode, CJ, Park, SH, Vaughn, T, Spetz, J. Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes. Submitted to Journal of Nursing Administration, 2013, 43 (2): 89-94.

Spetz, J, Mark, BA, Harless, DW, Herrera, C. Using minimum nurse staffing regulations to measure the relationship between nursing and hospital quality of care. Medical Care Research and Review, online February 11, 2013.

Spetz, J, Brown, D, Aydin, C, Donaldson, N. The Value of Reducing Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcer Prevalence: An Illustrative Analysis. Journal of Nursing Administration, 2013, 43 (4): 235-241.

Michtalik, HJ, Pronovost, PJ, Marsteller, JA, Spetz, J, Brotman, DJ. Developing a Model For Comparing Attending Physician Workload and Outcomes. JAMA Internal Medicine, in press.

Spetz, J, Gates, M, Jones, C.B. Internationally-Educated Nurses in the United States: Their Origins and Roles. Nursing Outlook, in press.

Selected Projects: 

Survey of Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwife Use of Health Information Technology

Collaborating Researcher with the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes (

California Board of Registered Nursing Workforce Surveys and Analysis

Nurse Employer Survey on New RN Graduate Hiring (supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Indicators Tracking Work and Summative Evaluation of the Initiative for the Future of Nursing

The Effect of Hospital Unions on Staffing and Patient Care (with Michael Ash, University of Massachusetts, and Jean Ann Seago, UCSF)