Staffing

The category of Staffing requirements varies by state, and few states have mandatory nurse to patient ratios. This section offers resources for further inquiry into the subject. Hospital nurse staffing is a major concern because of its impact on patient safety and quality of care. The patient should receive resources according to need.

Photo: "The Many Faces of AMSN Members," taken at a recent annual convention.

Question: There are times when there is an overflow of telemetry patients and another floor is opened to accommodate the overflow... nurse has to call tech to see what pattern patient is presenting...

Answer: A variety of facilities utilize different approaches-some offer remote monitoring with the use of a telemetry technician, some utilize the traditional method of the nurse being the primary monitor, and thirdly, some facilities use a blended approach...

Question: I am curious as to the amount of emphasis put on patient acuity ... are there any acuity tools...?

Answer: ... One example of an acuity tool is based on the AACN Synergy Model. This process translates patients score into nurse patient assignments, based on patients’ stability, predictability, vulnerability, complexity, resiliency, patient/family participation in decision making and available resources...

Question: I'm looking for acuity tools for nurse-patient assignments. I live in Maine so staffing isn't based on ratios. Does anyone have a tool or resource that I could use?

Answer: ...There is limited amount of research pertaining to nursing acuity tools. Some tools are geared towards critical care versus acute care...

Question: I am researching information on merging Pediatric population within the adult med surg unit. If you have any information/literature to guide this practice...

Answer: The merging of pediatric unit and adult unit can be constraining if not confusing to the nurses. Pediatric nurses have different training than adult medical-surgical nurses. It has proven difficult to find literature on this topic, because...

Question: Does the AMSN recommend specific nurse/patient ratios, and if so, what is the evidence-based research to support it?

Answer: The AMSN Position Statement on Workplace Advocacy does address safe and adequate staffing practices. However it does not recommend a specific nurse to patient ratio because...

Question: Should float staff be required to care for arterial lines on a patient in a post ICU setting?

Answer: Your question did not identify the "post-ICU setting" as a step-down unit, or a med-surg unit. For the purposes of this response, we will consider both unit types. We find that the standard of practice is that patients with arterial lines are...

Question: What is the suggested nurse/patient ratio and the suggested CNA/patient ratio for a medical-surgical floor?

Answer: Many states have mandated nurse to patient ratios. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to investigate this in your state...

Question: Can you provide examples of SBAR for shift hand-off that are approved by the association?

Answer: AMSN recommends utilizing an SBAR format that is developed by your nursing department and multidisciplinary team that meets the needs of the organization...