What is the Registered Nurse Patient Ratio at your hospital?

Nurses General Nursing


You are reading page 5 of What is the Registered Nurse Patient Ratio at your hospital?


69 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addiction.

I recently wrote a letter to my representative in congress, Kevin Yoder. From his letter back to me:

"As you may know, Representative Janice Schakowsky introduced H.R. 1602 on March 25, 2015. If enacted, this bill would require hospitals to comply with minimum nurse-to-patient ratios without raising the cost of Medicare for beneficiaries effected by this change. In addition, this bill would allow nurses to reject assignments that would violate the nurse-to-patient ratios or for which the nurse felt unqualified.

At this time, H.R. 1602 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. Please know that while I do not serve on this committee, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should this or any similar legislation come before the full House of Representatives for a vote."

Take a look at this bill, and let your representatives know how you feel.

Specializes in Emergency.
holy moly, these numbers TERRIFY me!!

I work in California, where the unions worked to get patient ratio laws passed statewide.

in the three different hospitals I've worked, all in suburby areas, this is what I've seen:

med-surg/oncology/anywhere without tele: 1:5

any type of tele: 1:4

subICU: 1:3

any type of ICU: 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, etc as needed (highest I've seen is a 3:1)

Go down to your ed and ask them what THEIR ratio is, you might be surprised to see it matches most of the responses from ed nurses around the country.


1,170 Posts

You work in California right? This is awesome staffing, how it should be!

Wow some of these are scary for me. We staff based on level of care.

ER anywhere from 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, maybe 4:1 (all very basic if we're slammed and short, not common).

Med surg is 4:1 or 3:1

Surgical and Intermediate trauma 3:1

Neuro 3:1 or 2:1

Tele mostly 3:1, only 4:1 if they are very basic/obs)

All ICUs 2:1, 1:1, or 1:2

Oncology 3:1, can be less if level of care necessitates

Specializes in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery.

Pediatric neurosurgery and neuro ICU step-down. 3:1 ratio.

Sent from my iPhone using allnurses


58 Posts

I work float pool at my hospital. All the floors (except like ICU, Peds,BMT, etc) take 1:4 with an occasional 1:5 on days. 1:4- 1:6 on nights with 1:5 being more typical. Every unit gets remote tele patients (their rhythms are monitored by monitor techs on the tele floor) and so you might have none to all of your patients on remote. Every floor has a focus but can take general med surg if we are full but we try and make sure the more specific patients go to the right unit eventually. The units are oncology, bariatrics (also takes the gyn patients, spinal surgeries, and most SBO), ortho, surgical oncology (also uro issues and thyroidectomies), renal/pulmonary and then finally the unit that is always screwed over. They take CP that don't go to tele, stroke that don't go to tele, psychs/SI, and ETOH withdrawal. Sitters come out of the unit budget not hospital and they have anywhere from 1-8 sitter patients. They now have sitters watch 4 pts which can be ETOH, psych, SI, dementia. It is super unsafe and they only ever have 1-2 aides on the floor for 32 rooms and no HUC. All other units usually have 2-3 aides (with less rooms) and sometimes a HUC.

We merged with another hospital system that does 1:5 days so we know very soon that will be the new norm. But they aren't planning to adjust the night ratio from what I hear which is a problem. Even with "24 hour care" days inevitably does the QD dressing changes, the PICC/central line/Port changes, the changing of the IV when due, the baths, etc. Plus all the doctors and tests. Something will have to change to make days more manageable.


28 Posts

I work at a nationally known, Texas based rehabilitation hospital and our ratio's are 5:1 on primary care with no tech and 8:1 or 10:1 with a tech. Either way, it's brutal with all of the lifting requirements of the job.


6 Posts

That is absolutely insane if you indeed work in a critical care unit. !!!!!


188 Posts

Med surg 1:6-8 on days, 1:8-10 nights


5,348 Posts

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Trauma Rapid Response.
Med surg 1:6-8 on days, 1:8-10 nights

That is crazy! Do you have a union? Do you, as a professional RN, feel this is safe staffing levels?


3 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing.

In Queensland, Australia- it's 1:4 in general medical or surgical ward, 1: 1 in ICU/PICU or 1: 2 in ICU/PICU for non-intubated, 1: 2 in Neonatal Intensive Care or 1:1 for HFOV/NO premmies.

Hope that helps with your research.

BSNbeauty, BSN, RN

1,939 Posts

I work on postpartum. The ratio is 1 nurse to 4 to 5 couplets, which equals 8 to 10 patients.


52 Posts

Here in California we had a ratio law. I recommend fighting for the same if your state doesn't have one. Ratios that many are discribing here are scary and unsafe.

California RN Staffing Ratio Law

+ Add a Comment

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