What is your nurse-patient ratio?

  1. I'm a new grad RN about to start on a med-surg floor. I was told that on days I will have 4-5 patients and on nights 7-8. Does this sound normal/manageable?
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   JZ_RN
    Where I was at I had fresh post-ops (<3 days), feeding tubes, NGS, trachs on o2, broken limbs, serious wound dressing changes and wound vacs, nephrostomy, colostomy, caths, PICCs, peripheral IVs, etc., etc., as well as acute psych issues, and many many dementia patients with behaviors/geri-psych issues...

    And my ratio was 1:53. with 2 aides, sometimes 3.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    When I interviewed for a med/surg position at a regional hospital about a year and a half ago, I was told that day shift had between 6 and 7 patients and nights would have between 7 and 8 patients.

    By the way, this floor also accepted oncology overflow patients. I declined the job offer for a variety of reasons.
  5. by   himilayaneyes
    That ratio on med-surg sounds typical of most hospitals. Dayshift is a lot busier than night shift with more med passes and patients needing to be fed. 8 patients sounds like too much...however, I know of some facilities where 7 to 8 patients is typical of dayshift with night shift having up to 10 patients (way unsafe). Take the job, learn, even if you don't like it get your golden year of experience. Good luck.
  6. by   AJPV
    1:3 during days (1:4 if short-staffed, which is somewhat rare). 1:4 overnight. I'm on a telemetry unit.
  7. by   PolaBar
    I'm on a ~30 bed gero-med unit. Some pts are somewhat independent, most are on falls precautions (bed alarms, assist oob), and maybe a third need help with feeding and incontinence. Some ostomies, ng/peg tubes, foleys and central lines. Not much surgery. Days is 4-5 pts, nights 4-6. Days there are usually 3 techs, nights 2 (I think we're going to be getting an additional pct per shift soon).
  8. by   DebblesRN
    Quote from JZ_RN
    Where I was at I had fresh post-ops (<3 days), feeding tubes, NGS, trachs on o2, broken limbs, serious wound dressing changes and wound vacs, nephrostomy, colostomy, caths, PICCs, peripheral IVs, etc., etc., as well as acute psych issues, and many many dementia patients with behaviors/geri-psych issues...

    And my ratio was 1:53. with 2 aides, sometimes 3.
    Where was this so I never, ever go there??

    Seriously, 1 RN with 2-3 aides for 53 fresh post op patients?? Did I read that right?? How did you get anything done??

    When I did Med/Surg Telemetry (and my medsurg was post-op open heart patients) we had 5-6 on days and 6-7 on nights.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from DebblesRN
    Seriously, 1 RN with 2-3 aides for 53 fresh post op patients?? Did I read that right?? How did you get anything done??
    This person was probably working on a Medicare rehab unit at a nursing home. Yes, nursing homes receive post-op patients due to heavy pressure to discharge from the hospital as quickly as possible.
  10. by   thompd01
    I work in an ICU. The nurse patient ratio is 1:2. Unless someone is on the balloon pump or a fresh open heart, than it's 1:1.
  11. by   Spartacvs
    Morning...
    I'm on a Med/Surg unit in Orange County NY
    6:1 on days covering 2 pt's of an LPN
    8:1 nights
  12. by   Meriwhen
    Psych RN, CA, 6:1 regardless of day or night or whether Hades froze over. Got to love mandated ratios...I'm going to be spoiled if/when I leave CA and look for work elsewhere
  13. by   Epic_RN
    Ortho med surg 5:1, regardless of shift. Occasionally with low census we'll have 4:1 with total pt care. When all 30 beds are full, there are 3 CNAs but max ratio for pt:CNA is 15:1. I'm in CA.
  14. by   Aurora77
    On our floor, only those on post op day 1 are considered fresh. I work nights and have anywhere from 4 to 6 patients, depending on the acuity and the charge nurse (some of our charges take more patients than others). Day shift has a similar ratio.

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