Nurse to patient ratios

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Shaley Elias ShaleyElias 2 years, 2 months ago.

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    Profile photo of seadobe

    Hi Everyone!
    Ive worked as a traveling nurse for a few years now and it always amazes me how ratios can be very different at different facilities. Im wondering how others feel. Should ratios be mandated nationally? Do nurses that care for fewer patients have higher job satisfaction?

    Ive always been interested in this topic. If anyone would be willing to answer 10 questions, I would greatly appreciate it!! [link deleted by moderator]

    I would love to hear what others think


    seadobe: If you plan on being an active member of the Mighty Nurse community, thank you. Please add the link to the questionnaire onto your profile, and people that see this post and want to help you out can find the link there. If you just created a throw away account to get more traffic to your questionnaire, then that isn’t really what these forums are made for.

    Good luck. I’ll send you a private message in hopes you get it and update your profile. Hope to see you around more. Jason

    Profile photo of saraho

    Hi I have two hospital jobs. My primary job is on a high acuity med surge floor with a 4 to 1 ratio. My PRN job is a small local hospital with mostly swing bed patients where I get a 7 to 1 ratio. I am much busier at my full time job even with almost half the patients. Patient acuity has a lot to do with that not to mention it’s a 42 bed unit with 2 pct’s so the nurses are responsible for most of the patient care and do their own vitals. My PRN job is a 25 bed unit but rarely has more than 14 patients also with 2 pct’s who do most of the patient care including vital signs. I don’t think having a standard ratio is going to fix any problems because there are so many more variables in play.

    Profile photo of Kendra Mason

    I absolutely believe there should be mandated ratios based on case acuity. In California where ratios are regulated by the BRN (due in large part to unionization), this has made it safer for patient care and improved patient satisfaction. Nurses are not overworked based on how many patients they have in high acuity cases. For example, standard Med/Surg ratio is 5:1, Tele 5:1, ICU 2:1, and Neuro 1:1. I moved to South Carolina and there are no mandated patient ratios and it’s not unheard of to have 5:1 in a Neuro ICU unit. That shocked me. I seriously question quality of care and patient safety with patients that are this critically ill.

    Safe patient ratios provide a higher quality of care per patient and a better working environment for nursing staff. These ratios need to be developed and agreed upon by the nursing staff of a given state and implemented by the Boards of Nursing. I also believe when ratios are implemented the hospital will experience increased patient satisfaction and improved HCAHPS scores.

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