comment jammella


One issue in nursing, especially within my hospital are staffing shortages and high nurse-to-patient-ratio. A nurse on my unit which is med-surgical will typically receive up to 6 patients but the acuity level can cause the number of patients to decrease if the acuity level is high enough. Any time a nurse calls off, the house supervisor or management will call around to find another nurse who is willing to work on their day off. At times, they are unable to find someone to cover for the nurse who called off so they will assign an extra patient to nurses and increases their patient to nurse ratio from 1 nurse: 6 or 7 patients. Many know that 6 patients will keep nurses on our unit very busy and to add an extra patient would make the job and patient care unsafe. Although the issue of “inappropriate staffing” has been a topic of discussion for many facilities, many have continued to push the envelope and placing an unsafe environments for our nurses, especially new onboarding who feels they may not have a voice. 

Results obtained in this 2002 analysis and possibly many more have not shown improvements through the years and continues to see a need to be studied. Nurses found in hospitals with the highest patient-to-nurse-ratio are more than likely to experience job related burnout and almost twice likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs than nurses in hospitals with lower ratios and effective staffing which ultimately results in nursing turnovers. Also, the lack of staffing and high ratios association with life threatening conditions suggest the lack of important surveillance, early detection, and timely interventions to reduce a wide range of unfavorable outcomes.

                                                                                                   Reference (2002). Hospital Nurse Staffing and Patient Mortality, Nurse Burnout, and Job Dissatisfaction. Retrieved from