In an effort to stave off the union, our unit did reduce patient loads to 4-6 on days and 5-7 on nights. HOWEVER, on any given day, each of 6 nurses has at least one VRE and/or MRSA precaution patient and often as not they each have one OR MORE destructively confused, postop patient. To complicate things further, we have two LVAD patients awaiting heart transplant. Their nurses can't go into the precaution rooms. I don't know if this is a temporary trend or if nursing is just going to get harder and more complicated. Seems like you gain a little ground and then slide back down the hill.