What's your nurse pt ratio?

  1. I am curious what skill mix others have & what nurse patient ratios are in other hospitals. For those of you who are willing to share:

    What's your nurse patient ratio?
    What shift?
    What floor/setting?
    Who else is on your "team" (ie CNA, LPN, etc)?
    Are you adequately staffed, in your opinion?
    Do you get off work on time usually?
    Are you usually able to take a 30 min lunch break each shift?


    I'll share about the floor I have worked on the past 3 years...it's a union hospital where the dayshift RN on renal/med/tele has 4-5 patients and "covers" anywhere from 2-4 of an LVN. It's a high acuity floor. We have 1 CNA per 12 patients and one teletech to help with orders & monitoring.Our pm RNs get 5-6 patients each, and NOCs gets 6 pts each and no CNA. I know that sounds really dreamy to some of you! ;-) Despite this supposedly great staffing, we nurses run our *@$% off and are overtime everyday 30 min- 1 hr, as we try to finish up all the charting we didn't have time to do during the shift. We try to take our breaks, but most days we just don't have time.

    It really scares me that some other local hospitals staff with 7-8 pts per RN on day shift on the acute floors. There is no way those patients are getting the care they need.

    Tell me what it's like where you work! Thanks! This should be interesting
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   Heather333
    I work NICU. If I work w/ Level 3 kids (the sicker babies) usually 2-3. Have had as many as 4 though when we were short. Level 2 kids(feeders/growers) usually 4. We only have 1 CNA on nights, but she does most of the stocking and order entry. Occasionally she'll feed babies.

    Most of the time I don't get a break. We have a charge nurse that doesn't take patients and she usually relieves us for breaks if she can. I am usually there at least 30 minutes after my shift is over making sure everything is done. The paperwork is awful. If I could just take care of my patients and not have to worry about so much charting, I feel my patient's would get much better care.

    Heather
  4. by   baseline
    Med-surg 6 to 8 patients to one RN. There should be a tech to work with them, but often they have to take two districts....This is the day shift....nites is no better.........No it is not adequate...yes it is scary...but we are having some nurses come from the Philipines and that should help. They close down beds when they need to.........
  5. by   plumrn
    "What's your nurse patient ratio?
    What shift?
    What floor/setting?
    Who else is on your "team" (ie CNA, LPN, etc)?
    Are you adequately staffed, in your opinion?
    Do you get off work on time usually?
    Are you usually able to take a 30 min lunch break each shift? "

    Primary nurses have anywhere from 5 to 7 pts.Charge sometimes has a few pts.
    Day shift. (7a-7p)
    Med/Surg
    1 Charge nurse, 1 or 2 LVNs, 1 or 2 CNAs, 1 med. nurse, Admissions RN to do paperwork on all admissions. (days only).
    Adequately staffed- Yes, most of the time.
    Normally off on time, winters are more active & sometimes sicker pts. which take much more time, and then we stay late.
    Always get lunch breaks. May not get any other breaks in 12 hr shift tho. It depends on the acuity of the pts & amt of admits,discharges, OR activity, etc.

    This is the greatest staffing I've ever experienced, (and yet, some days can still be very busy). Rumors are that staffing is soon to be cut. We must be taking too good of care of our pts, and/or we look too happy or satisfied as we work?!!
  6. by   Cadensmom
    My hosiptal has great staffing (a little too easy if you ask me.) I work on a peds hem/onc floor and we have 3:1 on day and night shift. If we have a really sick patient we do 2:1. These patients are by no means ICU patients either. We have one CNA per side (up to 16 patients) who do all of our vitals and as much else as they can. I have it pretty good I guess!
    Jodi
  7. by   cactus wren
    Small (4 bed) ICU, 2:1, sounds good, right? But, no aide, clerk, or any other help. Have counted up to 75 phone calls in 12 hours, and between the danged phone, opening the door oodles of times( open visitation), taking off all your orders, there are days we are run ragged....And if cencus is down, then there is just 1 to do everything.....but compared to M/S nurses we have it pretty good. OOps, just noticed I didn`t answer all questions....I have worked here almost 6 years, and have had a "legal,ie out of unit" lunch maybe 6 times. We usually get to go grab a bite, and eat while answering phones, watching monitors, etc. Usually do get out on time, sometimes even early ,if we have the same patients, and nurses for several days..."Anything new? No? ok, lets count"
    Last edit by cactus wren on Nov 20, '02
  8. by   Fundays
    Hi, on a cardiac surgical unit we have a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 on days, 4:1 on evenings (RARELY it'll be 5:1, and usually that nurse will get a couple of low acuity patients), and nights it's 5:1. We have a secretary to do all of the orders and pretty much anything we ask her to do, a monitor tech 24/7 and about 1-3 CNA's, depending on number of patients (we hold up to 30) and acuity. Also have techs to draw blood, do EKG's, CBG's, etc. I definitely feel it's adequate, although it does get crazy a lot of the time. I USUALLY get my 30 lunch, but don't usually take any other breaks for a 12 hour shift. I usually get out about 30 minutes late because I write my notes about that time.
  9. by   Tweety
    What's your nurse patient ratio? 5-6 patients primary care. If there is one CNA on the floor 7; if you have a CNA to yourself 8


    What shift? 7p-7a
    What floor/setting? med-surg neuro
    Who else is on your "team" (ie CNA, LPN, etc)? CNA's, and a free charge nurse

    Are you adequately staffed, in your opinion? Yes; however, they don't always consider acuity. There could be a bunch of busy patients, yet you are staffed the same

    Do you get off work on time usually? Yes, except when I'm in charge. Shift report takes forever due to the phone and interruptions

    Are you usually able to take a 30 min lunch break each shift? I usually take my break in bits and pieces here and there when I'm in charge. Rarely sit down for 30 minutes. Most of the nurses get to sit down for 30 minutes sometime during their 12 hour shift. When I'm in charge, I insist that "my" staff I work with get something, anything to eat, even if they can't sit for 30 minutes. No one should work 12 hours without food.
  10. by   panda_181
    Okay, I work 4 units....the whole hospital is 7am to 7pm
    MEDICINE: Days usually 4 to 5, Nights 5 to 7. There are RNs and LPNs on this unit...used to be NAs only when there are LTC patients waiting for placement. We usually get off work on time, yes and breaks are usually not a problem. Of course there are days when this doesn't happen...just one of those things. 3 RNs and 3 LPNs on days plus charge, 3 RNs and 2 LPNs on nights, charge has a load.

    MATERNITY: 2 to 3 patients, depending on if you have anyone in labor or not. Most of the time I'm there until 1920 or 1930, seems everything happens on shift change. 3 RNs at a time, no LPNs. Breaks work out most of the time...charge always has a load.

    SURGERY: 4 to 5 patients on days or nights. About 3/4 of the time we leave on time...breaks usually work out...there are 4 RNs and 1 LPN plus charge on days, 3 RNs and 1 LPN on nights, charge has a load.

    PEDIATRICS: I find leaving on time can be hard sometimes. On days there are 2 Peds nurses, nights only 1 unless you need more. A Peds nurse is only supposed to have 4 patients at the most, they will call in nurses according to patients.

    I find that the staffing is adequate most of the time, unless we are working short, which can happen more often than we like to talk about sometimes. But I find that on the shifts I work, we're not usually short...maybe that's because I'm casual and I'm the one filling the positions!

    Amanda
  11. by   momrn50
    LTC...60 patients, two nurses,and (full staffed)6 CNA's..usually though we run the floor with 4 CNA's due to major job turnover. No I don't feel we have enough help..this is on 3-11 shift.
  12. by   OrthoNutter
    What's your nurse patient ratio?
    At best, 1:5 and at worst, 1:18. Average 1:8 (on day shift)

    What shift?
    Anything and everything. Nights, days, lates....we aren't given the cushy option of choosing which shifts we want to work as Public Servants (i.e. working for the State). Maybe if they cottoned on to the idea that not a hell of a lot of people enjoy being dictated their working hours, they wouldn't have such a bad staffing problem but hey, I'm just a pleb, what would I know?

    What floor/setting?
    Acute orthopaedics, multitrauma and neurology type stuff

    Who else is on your "team" (ie CNA, LPN, etc)?
    No one....it's just me against the angry and not so angry masses.

    Are you adequately staffed, in your opinion?
    Nope

    Do you get off work on time usually?
    On day shift sometimes, on lates never and on nights never

    Are you usually able to take a 30 min lunch break each shift?
    One thing I will say for my employer, they make sure we get our breaks. There has to be a major catastrophe to occur for us not to get our breaks.
  13. by   Rubyshoes
    I work in a CCU we have 2 pts most of the time, but somtimes 3.
    We have 1 PCA to help with baths and weights on
    night shift. Most of the time it's just us. We do have a monitor
    tech who puts orders in and helps us a lot.
  14. by   lisamct
    I work in a complex needs learning disability unit. We work short 8 hr shifts,both day shifts we have minumum of 3 staff, 1 nurse and 2 or most times 3 nursing assistants to 10 clients.night shift goes down to 1 nurse and 3 n/a's between 2 units, 20 clients.
    OUr staffing does look good on paper, but in practice its still inadequate
    Lisa

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