What is the maximum number of patients per nurse? - page 9

by Info(RN)matics 54,621 Views | 112 Comments

Worst Case Scenario: What is the maximum number of patients per nurse on your Medical/Surgical floor? Which shift? Which state? How often do you find yourself in such a situation? Background: When our nurses... Read More


  1. 0
    We use the RN/LPN model of nursing - the LPN's do meds/IVPB and the RN's do all of the assessments, pushes and RN interventions for 7-8 patients - no nursing assistants.
  2. 0
    We have 30 beds. Supposed ot be a max of 5:1 with charge out of an assignment, and we get a third tech at 23 patients, second tech at 14. I've seen us as high as 6:1 and 7:1, I work nights. Day shift usually sits at 4:1 and never goes above 5:1. There's usually a Unit Clerk about half the time & the charge is supposed to double as unit clerk. This is all in Ohio.
  3. 0
    we're a mixed tele, med/surg, peds and sub-ICU critical access hospital. We get up to 8 each on nights, here. Sometimes with drips, blood transfusions, etc. We get most of the admissions on night shift, so even if we only have 3 or 4 patients at shift change, we may end up with 6 or 7. I feel like it's a lot, but I also am considered a "new grad" because my LPN experience didn't count as nursing experience when I got my RN and started looking for RN jobs..the other thing is that the particular county I work in is the poorest in the state, so I am underpaid not only by national average but also by state average....but....I am looking at it as a "learning experience" and am trying to remain grateful that I found a job in a hospital as a new grad RN since most of my graduating class (15) still haven't found RN jobs.
  4. 0
    I'm in California on nights, 5:1 on both shifts. No LVNs. We get 1 CNA for up to 27 patients, and 2 CNAs for 28+ patients on nights. Day shift gets two CNAs for 24 patients and 3 for 34 patients.
  5. 0
    max of 5:1 but most of the time I have 3-4.. I just felt extremely lucky and grateful for my job!
  6. 0
    our unit does 4:1 with one nurse on the floor (gen. 4-5 nurses/floor) having 5 and no tech on the floor for nights and a unit sec. for days that does some vitals and some hard chart maintenance, transport scheduling etc...-- this is a recent change- we used to be standard 6:1 with a tech on both shifts and on nights the tech took on assisting 3pt's per nurse if there was only one or there was one tech for each side of the unit- we experimented with all nurses 4:1 and one nurse labeled "resource" having only 3 pt's- somehow this was unprofitable and after using this model as a compromise for getting rid of our techs within months they switched us to our current model still labeling one nurse as a "resource" but not actually giving them the ability to have fewer responsibilities to help other nurses.....
  7. 0
    I'm finding I feel even sorrier for the CNAs than the nurses in most of the situations! I'm a new grad nurse, still finishing up as a CNA before I take the NCLEX next week and start my nursing job.

    The floor I work on now is inpatient rehab: 5-6:1 for nurses, days or nights. It's been an almost impossible load because we have a lot of brain injuries with their fingers on the call bell every 30 seconds and a lot of strokes/spinal cords that require at least two people to get up... and since it is rehab, we get them up to the bathroom. Can't remember the last time anyone used a bedpan; we just don't do that on my floor. I wish we did!!!!

    Usually, the CNAs get a max of 8 patients, but I've had more than 10 before. Often, when the nurses have six so do the CNAs, so a CNA and a nurse have the same six patients together. Even that feels like too little staffing when 5/6 of those patients are 2+ or lift transfers, or if they're slideboards with no upper body strength... sometimes the nurses and the CNAs are doing everything together because no one can get up to the bathroom with just one helper and the nurses end up staying three hours past their shift or more because they are essentially doing CNA duties with the CNA all day. Nurses need time to do assessments, pass meds, talk to the docs too... it's bad when they have 6 on days. It's sometimes more tolerable on nights.

    At least when I only have 6-8 patients I can get their stuff done for them if they aren't 2+ assists. I love it when I have male patients because at least they can pee without getting out of bed. There are no foleys on my floor, so if a female has to pee they have to get up to the toilet or at least the bedside commode. It's not worth it to even try the female urinal because it just never fits right, no matter how hard you jam it in there... I seriously can't imagine having any more than 12 as a CNA. I'd just walk out... usually even with 8 I have been called over the intercom at least twice while I'm in each room and have another two or three rooms to go to when I get out of the one I'm in. If I had 20-something patients I'd just sit down and cry somewhere. You'd be lucky if you could answer 1 out of 5 calls in a situation like that. Yikes!
  8. 1
    On nights we have had up to 7 patients, always at least 6, on a post-op med/surg high acuity floor.
    IF we have a tech then it is never more than 1 for the entire 23 bed unit.
    4 out of 6 of your patients will be fresh post-ops.
    One charge nurse & depending on which one it is depends on whether you get any help from her.
    Texas.
    Cry most days & furious the others.
    Wonder why the hell I got into nursing!
    Have been there 1 year now & was told by a nurse that has been there for 5 years that every nurse that has filed Safe Harbor there has been fired within 2 weeks.

    On a better note, I went to a job fair at a different hospital recently, & while it is unfortunately for another post-op med/surg unit, the most patients you can have is 6 due to the unit set-up & there is 1 tech to 2 nurses, a resource nurse that handles all admits/discharges, a helpful charge nurse, & the Dr's have to enter all their orders in the computer.
    They just offered me the position. As soon as the background check results are in then I am turning in my 2 week notice.

    FYI...my current job is so stressful that I am willing to end my 2-year new-grad contract with them & pay the remainder of what the hospital claimed the internship was worth, which is $4000.
    C-lion likes this.
  9. 0
    I work on a med tele unit and during the day the nurses typically have 5-6 patients. I work night shifts and we typically have 6-7 patients but can have up to 9...which is so unsafe! As a new grad I would NOT feel safe taking care of 9 patients, and I have no issue letting patient flow know that when they continually let me know that I have admits all night long. It is for the safety of my patients after all!
  10. 0
    I work on an acute med/surg tele floor: 7-8 on days and nights- no PCT's.


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