ICU nurse:patient ratios

Specialties CRNA


Hello All:

What are the usual nurse to patient ratios in an ICU? Which ratio is safe, and are hospitals pushing the ratio in this area too?

PS. Any advice on whether to invest in a palm accessory to use in the ICU? Do any hospitals supply them? Would it be a handy reference for calculations? Do CRNA's use them frequently?


Qwiigley, CRNA

564 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Anesthetist.

We use our Palm in CRNA school for all kinda of programs. I didnt need one in the PICU, but a needed a calculator constantly. Always rechecking doses.

Usual RN:Pt ratios are 1:1, 1:2 or 2:1 in pediatric ICU. (california) That is our state law and really, our hospital is great about giving us good assignments. They are focused on the kids and getting them better. Maybe its because we are non profit and are always broke anyway, but always the kids come first.


796 Posts

In our CCU (large teaching hospital) 15 beds just for CCU with 6 other adult ICU's alone, with an 80-90% capacity at all times for all ICU;s...yeah we;re busy...anyhow, we have a 1:1 or 1:2 nurse pt ratio. A pt would be 1:1 if they were a fresh code, unstable balloon pump, etc. 1:2 for r/o MI, post cath, sheath pulls, etc unless the pt was very unstable. The ratios are just right in my opinion. You have enough time to take care of your patients and eat lunch..... we always no matter what keep these ratios. We do have the advantage of putting our pts in other ICUs if their is a staffing issue, etc. We also welcome their patients if need be so it is interesting we get trauma, surgical, medical, cardio surgical, neuro, respiratory icu pts. It's a great learning experience!!!!!!

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X