Charge Nurse Patient Ratios

Nurses General Nursing


How many patients do your charge nurses in acute care settings take on days, p.m.s, and nights? What is the patient/nurse ratio for other nurses working on those shifts? If they don't take a patient assignment, what other duties do they perform.



plumrn, BSN, RN

424 Posts

The charge nurse does not take pts where I work, but it is because we have a much higher number of LPNs than RNs than most places. The staff nurses take around 5-6 on days, and oddly enough, nights takes the same amount, sometimes 7.

allele, LPN

247 Posts

The charge nurse doesn't take any patients on my unit on any shift. Day staff RN's take 2-3 patients, evening RN's take 4, night's 5 (sometimes six, but rarely). Can't complain about staffing where I work. I think I can count on only one hand how many times charge has had to take a patient due to staff being maxed out, but they usually take a patient who's being discharged or going to O.R. or something, nothing too difficult. They have to be available to resource staff.....and they do. :)


65 Posts

Wow, I guess I've been out of the house a loooong time. I was one of 3 RN's and 1-2 LPNs and 2-3 CNAs and we were a 32 bed cardiac tele/surgical stepdown. We all had 10-11 whether we were "Charge" or not. This was is a large regional med center. That's primarily why I started looking at other types of Nursing. We all had 2-3 fresh post open hearts, with central lines, drips, and CT's, and the rest were arrhythmias or stable er admit chest pains. Some were post cath lab, but we only took a few to clear out the lab for their early admits, and they were up and about, just waiting for discharge. I ran my butt off for 12 straight, and that was if none of my pts went down the tubes. I went to ICU primarily because it was much more "easy" for lack of a better term, to take 3 very ill pts on vents and such, than it was to try and keep up where I had been.

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