Welcome to the profession, and I hope you enjoy as many years as I have so far........30.
Your question actually is better able to be answered depending on what you choose to do in terms of first time employment. It sounds like you are going into the acute care setting (hospital).
In that setting it really depends on which area you choose.
All of the intensive care areas have the "better" nurse-patient-ratios, but there is still no guarantee in those areas that the ratio that "should" be, actually exists.
The non-intensive care areas are pretty much where you will begin to experience the true meaning of the "nursing shortage." This phenomena is not "peculiar" to selected hospitals, here and there. It is a nationwide disgrace, across the board, and one that portends to get worse, not better.
If, for example, you select a Med-Surg Unit you can expect a minimum of 8-10 patients under your charge. In some hospitals the number of patients you have depends on the physical layout of the unit (some have the "pods" layout with 4-6 patients in a "pod")......many of us have heard of Nurses who are responsible for more than 10 patients.
Nurse-patient ratios are subject to many peripheral influences: sick calls overall, patient acuity profiles, management decision-makers, Staffing Office politics, and on and on.
Go wherever your heart is leading, and you will do well.
Good luck, and welcome aboard!!