Med Surg Staffing Guidelines - Resources???

  1. Hi,

    I am new to nursing management and come from an ER background (mostly).

    Anyways, I am looking for a professional guideline for safely staffing a med surg

    unit. Are these guidelines found by any of the professional organizations? Perhaps

    in the medical surgical nursing organizations? I just want to staff a "safe" unit for

    my nurses and not staff only according to $$$ in the budget.

    Any direction in finding out where I can find some resources would be greatly


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    About Ginger35

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 176; Likes: 13


  3. by   camixander
    Hi Ginger,

    I am also new to Nsg mgmt and was unable to find any concrete data on staffing ratios. I know that in my state, there is no law that dictates these things. A nurse can have as many pts as assigned to him/her. What does your hospital policy state? If you are a union-affiliated facility, they would dictate ratios. Start with your state board...
  4. by   Ginger35
    Hi Camixander,

    I have not been able to find anything concrete as of this date. Since posting this question - I left being a Med Surg manager and moved on to a different managerial position.


    I do know that either CMS or the National Patient safety goals will be coming out with guidelines soon with some sort of calculated HPPD (hours per patient day) for safer staffing ratios in hopes to improve the quality of care. I have not seen any numbers come out yet.

    What I did was looked at the California staffing standards with ratios of 1:5 max and attempted to come up with a staffing matrix as close as I could to it. You will want to know what your average daily census is on your floor and what your budgeted HPPD is.

    This can be a bit challenging to figure out - but it can be done. The CFO at your facility or your DON should have your budget HPPD information.

    Good Luck,