Nursing News: Nurse-to-Patient Staffing Ratios Affect on Patient Care

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 28th, 2012

Hospitals and nurses in Massachusetts, one of the 34 unregulated states, are arguing over mandatory nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. Some nurses claimed to work 16 hour shifts on mandatory overtime and feel that risks patient safety.

Hospitals, not wanting to confine nursing care to a “one-size-fits-all” ratio, want collaboration between hospitals, physicians and nurses to create best practices based on quality, not volume.

Meanwhile, 78% of nurses are spending one-quarter of their 12-hour shifts on non-patient care, such as completing checklists and paperwork, according to a survey conducted by Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare.

According to the nurse respondents, reduced nurse-to-patient ratios and increased ancillary support staff could help shrink the amount of time they spend on indirect patient care.

Caring for patients in the reason we answered the call for nursing in the first place. What ideas do you have to increase your time at the bedside?

To learn more about easing the burden on nurses email me at or sign up for my “Sip of Soup” today!

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