What is the Registered Nurse Patient Ratio at your hospital?

Nurses General Nursing


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941 Posts

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

Wish all states had mandated ratios I think a lot more nurses and patients would be happier. It will increase those patient satisfaction scores too.


50 Posts

Sitters watching 4 patients at a time?!? And ETOH lol


50 Posts

Well thats because texas is a red state and they always choose the corporation over the commoner

Specializes in Psych.

Our unit is based on overall ratios

1:4 with a minimum staff of 3 days/eves

1:9 with minimum staff of 3 on nights

nurses can have up to 13 patients to chart on (some entire assessment others just the physical portion) on days/eves

nights nurse can have 26 patient

psych unit so most are medically stable


844 Posts

I work in a rural hospital on a med surg floor. We usually have 1:4, sometimes 1:5. The RNs refuse to take more than 5 patients so the ratio is never more than that. (Forgot to add that I work nights.)


642 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg/ICU/Stepdown.

Urban/Metro Hospital in NY

High Acuity Med/Surg = 1:4 (as it should be standard), 1:5 (when our ANM refuses to assist in taking an assignment), or 1:6 (when the ANM refuses an assignment, there are call outs, bed access increases the census, and there are no floats available).

I can't speak for other units, unfortunately, because we have so many separate specialty units, it's hard to know what their census' are, and what their ratios are. I will say that our new CNO has since decided it should be standard on my unit to do a 1:5 assignment as a flat ratio. I disagree very much with that decision.


317 Posts

Specializes in Float Pool - A Little Bit of Everything.

Mine have been: Tele 1 to 6, ER 1 to 4, ICU 1-2 with 2-3 Tele holds during cold and flu season, SNF 1 to 30 skilled floor, 1 to 40 mix of skilled and LTC floor. Not a single one of these places ever factored acuity levels into their ratios and staffing. For example, on Tele when your Pt turns into an ICU hold on a Vent.... guess who still has 5 other patients? Or in the ER you get one ICU hold and still had 3 other patients. That to me is the most unfortunate of situations.

Specializes in Informatics / Trauma / Hospice / Immunology.

I'm in California. The rule is you can have 5 patients on med-surge as long as none are tele. If one or more are tele, 4 is the max. ICU is 2 patients.


175 Posts

I work on med-surg/tele night shift and it can be anywhere from 6 to 9 patients a night per nurse. They only staff us with 4 nurses a night and maybe will add on a 5th nurse if nursing administration is feeling generous. Gets very overwhelming!


6 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Medical Surgical, Tele, Hospic.

I work on a mix oncology/med surg/ tele floor and our ratio is 1:5 however sometimes we flex up to 6.

As a home hospice nurse you can have 18-20 patients in home health seeing maybe 4-5.

Nursing home on the acute rehab side can be 1-15 and if some one calls out it is 1-30 with the supervisor help.

Nursing home Long term is 1-30 and at times 1-60 if the nurse calls out. There will be the med tech and at times the supervisor would help.


449 Posts

Specializes in General Internal Medicine, ICU.

General Internal Medicine unit here. It 4-5:1 on day and evening shift, and 7-8:1 on night shift


324 Posts

North Central West Virginia. Peds unit with adult med surg an RN and LPN take up to 10 patients. After a certain time, 20 or less patients cuts us down to 1 CNA.

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