nurse-patient ratio

  1. Within the last year, we restructured our Med-Surg nurse patient ratio to be 1:6 for days/eves, and 1:8 for nights. I am interested in hearing what other ratios in Med-Surg are. I work in a 400 bed city hospital, and the Med-Surg units are a mix of med-surg, ortho, oncology.
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    Joined: Jan '00; Posts: 2


  3. by   3651bht
    Sorry to tell you that we are 1:4 on days with 1:5 being a struggle. Mostly surgical except for this flu bug. Some chemo although most is done in office. Largely ortho. I just passed the certification. Unit is 22 beds. CNA's have 5-6.
  4. by   askater
    3651bht where do you work...that's good staffing.

    I don't work med/surg anymore. But when I did. Days, afternoons and Mn. was 1:6 patient/R.N ratio. The only difference was aids. 3 aides days. 2 aides afternoons and 1 aide mn. There was 35 beds. 6 of the 35 beds were stepdown beds. (telemetry, a-lines and cvp's)
  5. by   mn nurse
    We have 1:4-5 (depending on acuity) on days and evenings and 1:6-7 on nights. Its's a 24 bed neuro unit.
  6. by   mn nurse
    I work on a 24 bed neuro unit, where we have 1:4-5 on days and evenings (depending on acuity) and 1:6-7 on nights. Our charge nurse does not have a patient load and so is available if someone needs help.
  7. by   mvnrn31
    Where I work and after a treat to strike for nurse patients ratio's we were given 1/10 on days and 1/12 on evenings and 1/14 on nights.It's still poor staffing there. I'm glad to see others are doing better.
  8. by   ruby mcbride
    I work at a 175 bed hospital. We recently had a consulting team evaluate our patient:nurse ratio. It basically is 1:4 for day shift, 1:5 for pm shift and 1:6-7 for night shift. We have aides on days, pms and nights. They also vary as to acuity status. It is a good system, and most of the nursing staff feel they can live with the numbers. The charge nurses have the final say in staffing. If they feel they need more staff (based on influx of admissions or patient condition) they can request more staff, the same if the patient census goes down, they can send people home low census/on-call. It seems to work pretty good. Other nurses that come to this facility to work feel we have very good staffing. Good luck.
  9. by   askater
    I feel hospitals need to look at acuity. The first hospital I worked at didn't look at acuity. The hospital I work at now used to. Couple months ago, they got rid of sitters and staffing by acuity.

    You can have 10 very low acuity patients or very high. I'm willing to have less nurses with low acuity. If given more nurses when the acuity goes up.

  10. by   shee1a
    I agree with the last statement. I too am willing to have less staffing when the acuity is low and more when it is high. At our place during the summer the census is low so we end up sitting around and being bored then when winter hits we are running our legs off and griping about it. We need to look at acuity of patients so we dont have that influx. I think this is one of the contributing factors to burn out ie. the stress of these changes.
  11. by   RDJ R.N.
    I work for a teaching hospital with 175 beds. We average 1:5days 1:6evenings and 1:8nights. Our hospital does not look at acuity. Our unit is a twenty bed unit with mainly surgey, ortho, oncology, thoracics, and orl patients. As our supervisor told us "It's butts to beds, acuity doesn't matter." We are allowed 1 aide per shift, with nights not getting any support til census reaches 15. We also are a total care hospital which unfortunatly, means that LPN's are few and far between. Also if an Lpn is working that day then we can't have an aide. Our telemetry is monitored at the nurses station which requires that someone must be at the desk at all times. I am glad to hear that many of you have good ratios.
  12. by   Miss RNC
    Consider yourselfs fortunate! I work on a 32 bed med/surg unit which consists of 50% oncology 25% surg 25% medical pts. We are 1 to 8 patients on all 3 shifts.
  13. by   BC512RN
    It is not obvious to me where any of the prior responses are from. I have to tell you that you are very fortunate not to work in the Northeast. Your ratios are amazing. We are a 325 bed community hospital with ratios that will curl your hair. Days 1:9 to 11, Eves 1:11or12 & Nites: 1:14or15. We were reengineered 3 years ago and haven;t recovered from the shock. So tell me where do we have to go to get your ratios. I am the chair person of this bargaining unit and I am coming your way with 480 very tired, deserving nurses. Email me please.

  14. by   3651bht
    Hi Everyone,
    Needless to say we don't have many openings askater and BC512RN I'm located in the Northeast. The Northeast is a very large area Ayuh......