Here is example of staffing crisis situation that was handled correctly. Yesterday was my 10th day of orientation on a rehab unit. It was full, 25 patients with one RN(my preceptor), one LPN and three aids to cover day shift. In fact they were short one licensed person and the acuity was high. They managed to find a RN who had never worked on the floor before to come in to be that licensed person. In the past in every other place I have worked the manager would have been walking around congradulating herself on finding that licensed person and would have gone no further with it. My manager did not stop there. She knew perfectly well that hving the responsibility for watching over an orientee and a nurse that was unfamiliar with the unit would have been a crushing responsibility for my preceptor. So my manager cancelled her meetings and postponed her other duties and spent the whole shift supporting and directing the strange nurse. I must say the unit manager still managed to keep an eye on everyday unit business and keep things running smoothly. So at the end of the day everybody was happy. My preceptor and I had a very busy team but with the support of the LPN and NAs we got through it fine. I was happy because I was learning and growing but not stressed, my preceptor was happy because she did not feel stretched to the limit, the pulled nurse was happy because she was not thrown to the wolves. Who were the winners here? The patients of course, they got proper care from staff people who were attentive and avaliable as in NOT RUSHED. I posted this in the activism forum because when the nurse manager got on the phone and told the powers that be that she was not going to make it to the meetings, that was a kind of activism. Just by taking that one small step and offering herself she had three happy nurses and a bunch of safe happy patients at the end of the day. I tell you I look forward to many more safe happy days just like it. PS I forgot to mention the unit secretaries, on this unit when it is that busy they put an extra secretary on from 11am till 7:30, that way days and evenings have a little extra help at the desk for half a shift. As you rehab nurses out there well know many, many patients are admitted and discharge everyday and that generates tons of paper work and other types of desk work. Having enough secretaries mean nurses do nursing not paperwork.