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Nurse/Student ratio at clinicals

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by ggmugsy ggmugsy (Member) Member

1,562 Profile Views; 39 Posts

Hey everybody,

I just finished my first year of an ADN program. One of the things I am unhappy with is the nurse/student ratio at clinicals. Very often - probably close to 75% of the time - the number of students on the floor exceeds the number of nurses.

Is this normal? It just doesn't seem "safe" to me.

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190 Posts; 2,346 Profile Views

I dont understand the question. There's no more or less number of nurses on the floor whether or not there are students. My clinical had 6 students, we each had 1 patient and our nurse had 4 or 5 patients each. Thats pretty normal for a hospital. If anything there was less for the nurses and care partners to do when we were there, so it was safer Id say.

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39 Posts; 1,562 Profile Views

Very often there would be 5 nurses on the floor - each with 4 or 5 patients and we would have 6 - 2nd semester nursing students on the floor - each with 2 patients. Often there were 1 or 2 - 2nd year nursing students with patients as well.

There were times one nurse would be working with three different nursing students. It seemed completely chaotic to me, but I've never experienced another nursing program, so I don't know what's normal.

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190 Posts; 2,346 Profile Views

our nurse just went about thier business and didnt really work with us at all. We took report with them in the beginning of the shift, then we talked about what we (the students) would do, and we were on our own pretty much. Whenever we did anything other than simple stuff our instructor would be present. I worked more with the PT than the nurses. (we were on orthopedic floor so most were TKR pts.)

Very often there would be 5 nurses on the floor - each with 4 or 5 patients and we would have 6 - 2nd semester nursing students on the floor - each with 2 patients. Often there were 1 or 2 - 2nd year nursing students with patients as well.

There were times one nurse would be working with three different nursing students. It seemed completely chaotic to me, but I've never experienced another nursing program, so I don't know what's normal.

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That Guy has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab.

3,421 Posts; 32,905 Profile Views

floor has about 6-7 nurses and 10 students where I did my clinicals.

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MN-Nurse is a ASN, RN and specializes in Med Surg - Renal.

1,398 Posts; 11,963 Profile Views

Hey everybody,

I just finished my first year of an ADN program. One of the things I am unhappy with is the nurse/student ratio at clinicals. Very often - probably close to 75% of the time - the number of students on the floor exceeds the number of nurses.

Is this normal? It just doesn't seem "safe" to me.

Yes, it's safe.

In your second year clinicals you will (probably) be working with higher acuity patients and will be far too busy to be counting nurses.

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39 Posts; 1,562 Profile Views

MN-Nurse,

No personal attack upon me was necessary.

I am not sitting around "counting nurses." I continually hear nurses say they "feel invaded" by the number of students on the floor.

I was simply asking for information regarding other programs and hospitals.

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Calinurse4 has 3 years experience and specializes in Perinatal.

315 Posts; 6,869 Profile Views

We never have more than 2-3 students per floor, usually just 2. There are between 6-8 students in each clinical group and we rotate around the different departments.

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Seas has 4 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, OB, NICU.

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Well, in my program and the nursing schools I know of, our clinical instructors were obligated to work with students, not nurses on the floor; except for taking/giving reports, and sharing any significant change in pt condition. No matter if there is 1 or 15 nurses on the floor, it didn't matter for us.

How is it in your school? How do the floor nurses work with students?

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190 Posts; 2,346 Profile Views

thats how mine is too. Some of the nurses didnt even speak to us save for report at beginning and end of shift. Others were really cool and taught, explained a lot of stuff that they didnt have to. They liked having us there because we did alot of work for them; we did all the baths, bed changes, dressing changes, pulled hemovacs, monitered I&O, vitals, got them to PT, did ROM exercises, discharged, helped feeding...stupid little time consuming stuff they would have done if we werent there.

Well, in my program and the nursing schools I know of, our clinical instructors were obligated to work with students, not nurses on the floor; except for taking/giving reports, and sharing any significant change in pt condition. No matter if there is 1 or 15 nurses on the floor, it didn't matter for us.

How is it in your school? How do the floor nurses work with students?

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39 Posts; 1,562 Profile Views

In my program, there is one clinical instructor for every 10 students. Students are normally spread between 4-5 different areas of the hospital so the instructor travels around as she can to observe/help with skills.

Very often, she will let our primary or charge nurse observe us doing new skills.

The primary nurse(s) for our patients are supposed to review our charting. Some do, some don't. Some of the nurses are wonderful about instructing students and some of them are not. A handful of them shouldn't be allowed to work with students, but we have no control over which primary nurse is assigned to our patient.

Although I feel most people are doing their best to see students have learning opportunities, if the instructor is busy and requests the charge nurse to observe, and she is busy, the student loses the opportunity to perform the skill. It's frustrating as a student to lose a valuable opportunity to experience a new skill.

The program I'm in used to take 40 students each fall semester. Recently, they added an additional class of 40 students each spring. That means in any one week, about 150 students are doing 2 different shifts at a hospital that has about 250 beds. It just feels like the nurses are overwhelmed with all of us. The deeper into the semester we get, the more short-tempered the nurses are. Some are downright hostile.

My classmates are telling me that nursing programs all over the country are set up the same way. I was just curious how other schools have structured the clinical environment.

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