I am in Atlanta GA, on the medical/surgical unit 8-9 patients is commonplace. However, you may start with 6-7 and get others during the course of the night (if you are lucky), or you may get them all at the same time when they return from surgery or a procedure on another floor.
I always encourage family members to stay with a patient as much as possible, to assure that a nurse can be summoned should a patient need immediate assistance. Although we have a new beeper system, my floor requires us to assess the patient at the beginning of the shift, and then rounds every 2 hours. Of course, if the patient is able to ring the call light for assistance, we are available. But it concerns me that we have so many patients and so little time. Just the math is scary...9 patients/60 minutes in an hour, that is only 6 minutes per patient per hour, not including getting medicines, etc. I encourage you to stay with your father during his time in the hospital setting. I hope he is doing well and will be discharged home soon.