nurse pt ratios for new grads

  1. At the hospital I work for as a tech while in RN school, the ratios are 1:6-7. Does this seem to many patients to one nurse? The nurses are constantly running from room to room nonstop, and some have to stay after hours to finish charting. How many people have had to experience this as a new grad? I'm kind of scared to sign a contract to work for them after graduation b/c of this.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Sorry, but this is quite average for a med-surg floor, unless you are living and working in California. Or are at a hospital that has better ratios. It is going to be hard for you to find anything different in most places.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    it's normal where I am too. Once you are off orientation, you are expected to take the same load a more experienced nurse is.
  5. by   jeepgirl
    Ditto that where I am too.

    If not more patients than the more experienced nurses because they want you to use those organizational skills. And, if you work on a small unit, like me, you take the heavier load because the charge has to have less patients to attend to charge duties.
  6. by   NurseCard
    Depends on the shift, too. For a day shift nurse, 1:7 sounds to me like too many patients but for night shift, 1:7 is wonderful. Particularly if the floor uses techs also. I work nights and if I only have 7 patients and they are all stable, that's a good night.
  7. by   lee1
    Quote from mjbsn2006
    At the hospital I work for as a tech while in RN school, the ratios are 1:6-7. Does this seem to many patients to one nurse? The nurses are constantly running from room to room nonstop, and some have to stay after hours to finish charting. How many people have had to experience this as a new grad? I'm kind of scared to sign a contract to work for them after graduation b/c of this.

    If this is strictly a Med/Surg floor then there is NO protection. Many states do have hospital state regs BUT they only refer to floors such as ICU, telemtry, etc. This is also why many unions advocate using Protest forms to help protect you and put back the burden of proper staffing on management.
    This is why it is is important to be actively involved in your state nursing assoc to effect change
  8. by   sunshines66
    In my hospital
    critical care staffing ratios are 1,2 or 3 pt to 1 nurse. Telemetry it is 6-8 pts per RN with a tech or LPN
    Med surg it is 8 to 1 with a tech between two teams

    That is day shift.

    Unfortunately hospitals are stretching nurses very thin. In Illinois we do not have laws governing ratios.
  9. by   amblessing
    I graduated last year and I have the same patient load, as the nurses who have been doing this for 20 years. I used to really be overwhelmed thinking that it was highly unfair, but now after doing this for 9 months, I have a reasonable amount of confidence in myself and my skills. Organization is not something that you can teach someone, I think everyone has to learn it for themselves. For some it's difficult and for some it comes naturally. I of course, had to learn it the hard way!
  10. by   Nurseinthemaking
    Reading the above posts, it looks like it is normal, but the hospital I am doing my clinicals at, they won't do that, a new nurse has 3 months to handle 4 pt's, then they bump her up. The charge nurse says that if she has to add an extra pt to herself to cover the patients she would rather do that, then take a chance at a new nurse getting overloaded. It is on the medsurge floor in a little countrified town, where they see patients that would generally be in ICU in bigger hospitals. So that may be the difference.

    Good luck, when do you graduate?
  11. by   zacarias
    Quote from sunshines66
    In my hospital
    critical care staffing ratios are 1,2 or 3 pt to 1 nurse. Telemetry it is 6-8 pts per RN with a tech or LPN
    Med surg it is 8 to 1 with a tech between two teams
    Ahh...the University of WA's tele floor ratio is 4:1, sometimes 5:1. I don't work there anymore, but that place is da bomb.
    Last edit by zacarias on Mar 19, '05 : Reason: fixed quote
  12. by   mjbsn2006
    Thanks for all the comments. I can see that this is not just happening in Texas. I graduate in May 2006 (2 more semesters to go!!!!!!). I plan to work Med-Surg for 1 year, then move on to some speciality.
  13. by   sunshines66
    Do you already know what specialty you prefer? Or do you want to do med-surg to try to decide what you like? I ask because I have always worked critical care (17yrs), and I would have hated to wait. The skills you think you mind need to hone can come in any unit (specialty) that you like. The most important thing is a good orientation experience. In my experience most in my class by the last semester knew what area they wanted. Maybe a little tweeking one way or another has keep me happy.
  14. by   alvardalton
    Hi, y'all. I have just started my new graduate program, and am working on med/surg cardiac unit. We get all sorts there as we take admissions from our smallish EC. It is normal for me to get five to six patients on a day, no EN, CNAs or NAs. The charge nurse doesn't take patients but will lend a hand, CN is a resource person, we have an educator who will help, a new position of senior nurse/educator on these shifts has also just begun. A night duty I was asked to do in my second week I was asked to take eleven patients. Consequently I also hate paperwork!. :angryfire

    Hey, the best of luck to you. It is an awesome job, I love it! :hatparty:
    Last edit by alvardalton on Mar 19, '05

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