# Total FTEs for the unit

1. I am a new nurse manager and I am having difficulty with calculations

We are planning to implement a different nursing model and I have to figure out how many RNs and how many PCTs I have to have for the unit to be fully staffed.

Our target HPPD would be 9.5. We work 12 hour shifts therefore 36 hours a week or 72 in one pay period. We are averaging 25 patients daily. How would I calculate my needs?
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3. It's best to keep this simple. Throw the matrix to the wind and use the simple calculation all corporations use.
Here's a graphic example:
Divide total cost of caring for patients by profit margin of say 1,000%. If profit margin at any time falls below that figure, institute layoffs immediately.
HR recommends "drug diversion" excuse or "not good fit"as best reasons to let go since #1will not cost the corporation in terms of unemployment insurance and #2 we don't have to explain to the labor lawyers.
This plan has historically been proven to be the simpliest and most accurate for the CEO and stakeholdingers while simultaneously not compromising patient care which as we all know is job #1.
Last edit by Buyer beware on Nov 8, '16 : Reason: w
4. Good grief, I hope that was sarcasm.

If your organization does not have guidelines for you, I would recommend that you invest in some self-learning materials. There are plenty of books available. One FTE is 2080 hours per year (40 hours per week * 52 weeks). But since one FTE is based upon 40 hours a week, or 8 hours per day, you can just divide your daily HPD by 8 to determine your daily FTE need.... So, for 25 patients * HPD of 9.5 = 237.5 hours per day. Divided by 8 = 29.68 FTE.

However, you will also need to add in your 'replacement factor' - which is the expected 'time off' for each FTE. Most organizations have a standard multiplier already, based upon their own vacation days, sick days, etc. It is usually ~ 1.14. Therefore 29.68x1.14= 33.84 FTEs. Just to make things a bit more challenging, you will need to figure out how many Full time (your 3-shifts-a-week people are equivalent to 0.9FTE each), part time (.5FTE) & prn (.1FTE) staff you should have. This is very important, because getting this right means will minimize schedule disruptions due to 'calling off' staff due to low census, begging staff for overtime or - heaven forbid - using contract agency to fill your gaps. There are guidelines for getting this right. See if your organization or more experienced managers can help you.

Finally, you'll need to determine how to distribute the staff and how much of the care can be delivered by unlicensed staff. A common distribution for 12 hour shifts is 60% days & 40% nights. ... so 20 FTEs (22 @ .9FTE) for days & 14 (15.5 @.9FTE) for nights. The proportion of licensed / unlicensed will need to be tied to your patient population needs and model of care delivery.

A last bit of advice - figure out in advance how much 'time off' you can schedule & still meet your labor budget. This will serve as a guide when staff request days off. If you know that you can only have one person on each shift 'off' at a time, then you can let staff know and work with them to plan accordingly.

I know it sounds complex, but once you understand the basics, it is not that difficult. Take advantage of learning opportunities & invest in self-education. Connect with a mentor. You can do this.
Last edit by HouTx on Nov 8, '16

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