6:1 Patient to Nurse Ratio Begins!


To keep up with the requirements of a “magnet designated” hospital, my hospital has finally decided to change the medical surgical units to a 6:1 patient:nurse ratio. Originally it had been 7-8 patients per nurse. However, on Monday, August 5, 2013, my unit has decreased the ratio. Here are the differences that I have seen so far.

  • More time with each patient — I can have a discussion ranging from medical diagnoses, plan of care to family life and concerns.
  • More time to help the nursing ancillary staff and other nurses
  • More time to think about their nursing diagnoses and next plan of care
  • More time to read notes to get a better understanding of why each patient is on certain treatments
  • More time to catch a change in a patient’s condition

It has been a positive change so far. I feel that patients are happier in that they see the nurse more and sleep earlier at night (since there are less medications to give and less people to see before they have to sleep).

Greater understanding for the plan of care, knowing when things will happen (when will the doctor see them? when will a procedure happen?) and more sleep

= happier patients = an increase in patient satisfaction = higher reimbursement from Obamacare

I hope that more hospitals do this!