Adequate Nursing Staff Ratios Essay

991 WordsNov 21, 20134 Pages
Adequate Staffing Ratios Staffing ratios have been a significant discussion topic among nurses for several years and with the upcoming aging baby boomer population this topic will remain an important area of discussion among healthcare teams. There is a strong relationship between adequate nurse-to-patient ratios and safe patient outcomes. It is determined that 55% of nurses complain of excessive workloads that lead to insufficient time with patients. Over 40% of nurses feel that units are understaffed and 96% say that they feel work fatigue before their shift begins (Needleman, Buerhaus, Pankratz, Leibson, Stevens, & Harris, 2011). A facility in South Carolina has a staffing policy in place that has a nursing staff ratio determined by patients’ needs, based on volumes, activity, visit type, procedures, and patient learning needs. Staffing variances can be flexed up or down depending on the number of providers which is reviewed on a weekly basis by hospital administration. Additional staffing can be obtained by the floating staff to the area of greatest need. The registered nurse (RN) staff should have certain qualifications that have graduated by a National League of Nursing (NLN) approved school, licensed by South Carolina with a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) must be licensed in South Carolina and be BLS certified. The policy mentions that the policy is in place to provide an avenue to increase nurse satisfaction and prevent burnout. The outcomes mentioned in the policy are to develop satisfied patients through high quality, safe, and effective care (Policy and Procedures of Nursing Staff Ratios at MUSC Charleston, 2012). The policy utilizes the Federal regulation that refers to staffing in the hospitals as the 42 Code of Federal Regulations that requires hospitals that participate in Medicare to have an

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