Nurse Patient ratio in NJ

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    I work as an RN in a combination long/short time facility in NJ.
    Currently I am in the Sub Acute Unit.
    Staffing has been cut so that each nurse has 14 to 15 patients per shift, plus admissions etc.
    I am seeking clarification as the the legal number of patients on a sub acute unit which can be assigned to an RN or LPN.
    The management says (15), and it almost literally impossible.
    I would appreciate any advice as to whom I might call for clarification or if anyone knows the law in NJ.

    Thanks,:spin:
    Charlie
    Last edit by SteveNNP on Jun 27, '08 : Reason: please do not post personal email address per TOS
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    I had a hard time finding anything. I know that Nj passed a law requiring facilities to make PUBLIC their nurse/patient ratios. I could find where NJ was trying to put a cap on RN/patient ratios, but couldn't find whether they passed it or not. I got a lot of runaround on the net. The best I could find was this:

    http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenu...dRatios_1.aspx
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    i heard that there isn't any law set for a med/surg nurse to pt ratio. i know that the max pts on a tele floor is 6; ICU/CCU 1-2, but i dont think there is a set max for med/surg. i work on a ortho unit, and wish i only had 6 pt's at a time. sometimes i end up with 10-13pts. crazy and unsafe and exhausting
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    Quote from rn2be72980
    i heard that there isn't any law set for a med/surg nurse to pt ratio. i know that the max pts on a tele floor is 6; ICU/CCU 1-2, but i dont think there is a set max for med/surg. i work on a ortho unit, and wish i only had 6 pt's at a time. sometimes i end up with 10-13pts. crazy and unsafe and exhausting
    In Atlantic Health (Morristown & Overlook), I've seen ratios of 10:1 on the overnight for tele floors, normal was 8:1. Definitely no max for med/surg, seems whatever the staff will take, saw up to 7:1 daytime at Morristown. Mountainside has gone to 10:1 days and 12:1 nights. Not safe.
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    Wow, that is A LOT of patients to care for! How on earth are you supposed to avoid making mistakes when you must be running from pillar to post from the moment you step on the floor?
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    I don't think there is a state mandate for nurse to patient ratios as of yet. I get a lot of emails from the ANA and the NJSNA about pushing for legislation about it so that really firms up that there's nothing in place nationwide. We have to be our own advocates. Keep complaining up the chain until you get someone to hear you. Of course a lot of places are going to cry about the Governor's budget cuts to hospitals and nursing homes and the medicare cuts, etc. which will be their excuse as to why they don't hire more people. I think the fact that a lot of places are starting to phase out LPN's is crazy - at least at this juncture. A lot of places are looking at the bottom line and think of employees as expendible. If there's an error they'll replace someone with another person until they make an error and so on and so forth. It's insane. I'm very thankfuly that so far at the new hospital I'm at I haven't had to deal with more than 7 or 8 patients at a time (night shift) and it's mostly 5-6 most days. It's unionized and there are union regulations based on unit census to staff ratio which is much more favorable than my last job.
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    Quote from NJNursing
    think the fact that a lot of places are starting to phase out LPN's is crazy - at least at this juncture. I'm very thankfuly that so far at the new hospital I'm at I haven't had to deal with more than 7 or 8 patients at a time (night shift) and it's mostly 5-6 most days. It's unionized and there are union regulations based on unit census to staff ratio which is much more favorable than my last job.

    i work at Community Medical Center in Toms River, NJ (exit 82A).
    #1- yeah they're phasing out LPN's in my hospital too. I think they're trying to push them out. Some are now working as Resp Therapists, most were put in a float pool. And now if we have an LPN floated to our floor we have to do their fall assessment for them, do the physical assessment for them, then open their note for them (the narrative) then co-sign the end. they just started to implement this policy this last month. some of the LPN's are better than some of the other RN's I've seen; especially if they have alot of experience. had to do it the other day. luckily i knew the nurse and he is awesome. i opened the note on what he told me. but i wouldn't do that for anyone else.
    #2 where do u work. i wish i started with only that amt of pt's. today i had 8 to start. discharged 1; and got two more admissions.
    #3we tried for a union, but it got shot down. not being racist (I'm Far from that) but we have a good amt of phillipino rn's and i heard that they all turned it down. i wouldn't mind having a union. would u mind telling me the pro's and con's of a nursing union. i know that when my mom worked for jersey shore they went on strike in the 90's they were on strike for several monthes; she had a great position for w/ great hrs(she had worked there for almost 30yrs)in the end of the strike she lost her job to a scab (actually a new grad) and she got stuck on a renal floor going back to floor nursing. she quit a yr later
  10. 0
    Quote from AtomicWoman
    Wow, that is A LOT of patients to care for! How on earth are you supposed to avoid making mistakes when you must be running from pillar to post from the moment you step on the floor?
    yea we run are butts off. put it this way. its a great diet. i lost 35 lbs in the last year. before nursing i was a bartender. was eating fried food at 4am then going to bed. i went from a size 8 to a 2 now. and just in time for bikini season. lol so there is a bonus for being over worked. only bad part was i had to buy all new clothes and bathing suits.
  11. 0
    Quote from rn2be72980
    yeah they're phasing out LPN's in my hospital too. I think they're trying to push them out. Some are now working as Resp Therapists, most were put in a float pool. And now if we have an LPN floated to our floor we have to do their fall assessment for them, do the physical assessment for them, then open their note for them (the narrative) then co-sign the end. they just started to implement this policy this last month. some of the LPN's are better than some of the other RN's I've seen; especially if they have alot of experience.
    That is really sad for the LPNs. It seems so insulting to those of them who have lots of experience.

    I wonder... do hospitals get a break on their malpractice insurance if they have mostly RNs and few or no LPNs? Just trying to figure out why they would be trying to push out experienced LPNs...
  12. 0
    Quote from AtomicWoman
    I wonder... do hospitals get a break on their malpractice insurance if they have mostly RNs and few or no LPNs? Just trying to figure out why they would be trying to push out experienced LPNs...
    I honestly don't know. I think it's just more of an inconvenience for most hospitals. The hosptial I used to work at was phasing out LPN's but the ones who were there had to rely on the RN's to really complete half their work. The LPN's couldn't take any verbal MD orders, had to have their charts signed off by RN's, could give any meds IV push, but could start IV's. So if the one LPN on our floor had a lot of post-ops on iv pain meds, the poor RN assigned to her would basically have double the case load covering both patients which just seemed unfair. While this LNP had like 20 years experience and was a great nurse, it must be frustrating for her seeing fresh grads with more priviliges than her and her needing to go to them to get her patient care done.


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