I agree w/ Brandy's suggestions. My thoughts: If you come to work & feel that your assignment isn't safe, notify whomever is the next up on your chain of command (ie charge nurse, nursing supervisor, etc). If they do not provide timely help or relief, I would tell them I am filing an assignment under protest (AUP).
;-0 Yep, that's right. Maybe people are "taking shortcuts" because the floor isn't staffed to acuity? There's nothing wrong with speaking up and letting it be known that you can't safely provide care. Taking shortcuts is risky & dangerous. The prudent thing is to inform your supervisor of the potential danger of the situation, so that it can be remedied.
Be sure & document whomever you notified & the time. Write down the pertinent info for that date (ie census, acuities,your assignment & the staffing matrix). If you submit a AUP to your supervisor along w/ a QA, keep a copy for your records. Long term- Talk with your DON about updating your P&Ps and concerns about staffing issues. As Brandy suggested, participation is key. Suggest a unit meeting to discuss the problem & solutions. If they don't address the problem immediately & with all seriousness, I would start looking for another job & give my notice. It's not worth it. There are a million jobs out there, and some facilities just don't give a darn.