Does Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Improve Care? Essay

Does Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Improve Care? Essay

Length: 960 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Many nurses are celebrating ten years of mandated nurse to patient ratios in the state of California. This is the first state to successfully pass such a law and has taught the nation numerous things about mandating nurse staffing ratios. While many registered nurses see this as a saving grace, allowing them more time to spend with their patients, others feel that the law has not been a success. Like many things in life there is a give and take, and this law is no exception. Mixed feelings in the nursing community is unapparent as to weather mandated nursing to patient ratios is really the savior it was once thought to be.
The work for mandated nurse to patient ratios began in 1999, with the passage of California Assembly Bill 394. This bill was the first of its kind, and laid out very specific parameters for staffing. It was not until 2004 that the final bill was passed, mandating a 1:5 nurse to patient ratio on medical surgical units. This bill was not easily passed as Governor Schwarzenegger tried to delay the bill, citing financial issues of the state. Ultimately the California Nurses Association filed a lawsuit which overturned his ruling (Tevington, 2011).
The passing of Bill 394 was seen as a victory for many nurses at the time. “ Kathy Dennis, the RN from Mercy General Hospital, remembers having anywhere from eight to ten patients assigned to her, with only a licensed vocational nurse to help (Ratios, 2013).” The days of eight to ten patients per RN are long gone, now only having 4 to 5 patients. Having a lower number of patients assigned has given registered nurses the ability to feel more proactive in their patients care rather than reactive. This allows the registered nurse to have the time to fully educate the...


... middle of paper ...


...nical evidence that patient outcomes increase with a decrease in nurse to patient ratios as well as bringing the right people to the table to determine the right ratios to mandate. While one ratio will work very well for one hospital it may not work well for another that see’s a higher population of critically ill patients. Clearly, it is difficult to decide if mandated nurse to patient ratios are the right thing to pursue, but it is clear that more research needs to be conducted and having an active voice by voting or participating in a committee is evident.


Works Cited

Ratios, Then and Now. (2013). National Nurse, 109(8), 12-15.
Shekelle, P. G. (2013). Nurse-Patient Ratios as a Patient Safety Strategy. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 158404-409
Tevington, P. (2011). Professional Issues. Mandatory Nurse-Patient Ratios.
MEDSURG Nursing, 20(5), 265-268.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Mandatory Minimum Nurse Staffing Levels Essay

- Mandated Nurse Staffing Ratios The United States  offers some of the most established and advanced health care in the world. Practitioners and administers are constantly trying to improve the quality of care received by patients in the US. Data has consistently shown that the presence of a registered nurse contributes directly to positive patient outcomes (Cho et al., 2016). The debate across the country, however, concerns the precise number of staff  required to provide safe, high-quality care....   [tags: Patient, Nursing, Hospital, Nurse]

Strong Essays
884 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Benefits Of A Nurse Patient Ratio

- Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Research has suggested that lowering the nurse-patient ratio will: o Allow more time per patient day, which leads to lower mortality for patients with acute myocardial infarction (Aiken, Cimiotti, Clarke, Flynn, Seago, Sloane, Smith, & Spetz, 2010). o Help lower the percentage of nurses burning out as a consequence of having an increased workload (Aiken et. al, 2010). o Decrease the chances of nurses reporting their work environment quality as fair or poor, because of being overwhelmed by increased patient load (Aiken et....   [tags: Nursing, Health care, Legislature, Voting]

Strong Essays
1506 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Role Of Teachers With A Small Group Of Students

- Have you ever been in a class where the teacher knew all of the students and you could tell the teacher genuinely cared about your success in the class. Now think of a class where you could be completely anonymous and never have to speak with your teacher. When you pictured these two different settings you probably imagined a small and personable class for the former, and a plethora of students filling up a lecture hall for the latter. The educational benefits of the teacher working with a small group of students is accessible to all of the students present, whereas the larger lecture hall style of class could lead to students not being able to succeed if they cannot readily receive assista...   [tags: Nursing, Patient, Nurse]

Strong Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Nurse to Patient Ratio, Nurse Burnout and Patient Satisfaction Essay

- Working in long-term care can be overwhelming. Imagine you are a new graduate nurse putting your new found knowledge and skills to practice for the first time. Your orientation lasted three days which is standard for nurse home orientation compared to hospital orientation that last approximately six to eight weeks for new grads. The shift has just begun and already you have a new admit, new found pressure ulcer to assess, a possible medication reaction, several new orders to take off and eight patients to document on for varying reasons....   [tags: Nurse Burnout, Patient Satisfaction]

Strong Essays
2207 words (6.3 pages)

The Nurse Patient Relationship With My Patient Essay

- The nurse patient relationship begins to develop the moment a nurse steps into a patient’s room. Rapport is often overlooked in how it can affect the care and compliance of patients. During my experience on 5100 postpartum I have to learned how important it is to develop rapport with my patient right from the moment I meet them. Patients who do not feel a connection with their nurse are more likely not to trust them and follow their instructions or guidance (Barkley, 2015) In my particular experience with a patient I did not develop good rapport right from the beginning that resulted in her begin apprehensive to receiving an immunization....   [tags: Nursing, Patient, Nurse, Nursing skills]

Strong Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Nurse Staffing Levels : Effects On Patient Outcomes Essay

- Nurse Staffing Levels: The Effects on Patient Outcomes Nurse staffing is a complex issue. There are many factors which need to be considered when staffing a nursing unit. Evidence shows an association between Registered Nurses (RNs) having decreased workloads and better patient outcomes, including a decrease in patient mortality (Aiken et al., 2011; Needleman et al, 2011; How Lin, 2013; Patrician et al., 2011; Wiltse-Nicely, Sloane, Aiken, 2013). A small percentage of patients expire during their hospitalization as evidence suggests that a portion of these deaths can be attributed to RN staffing levels (Shekelle, 2013)....   [tags: Nursing, Nurse, Patient, Nurse education]

Strong Essays
1880 words (5.4 pages)

Importance Of Therapeutic Nurse Patient Relationships Essays

- Introduction Nursing isn’t just about the feeling and affection shown towards a patient but understanding the patient as a whole. Caring is critical in a patient-centered caring environment. Caring for a patient can positively impact their care and help them improve overall. Caring consists of many components; however, an important element is being culturally competent. Cultural diversity with the advancements of technology and the improvement of travel creates an ocean of cultural diversity....   [tags: Nursing, Health care provider, Patient, Nurse]

Strong Essays
721 words (2.1 pages)

Safe Nurse Patient Ratio Is A Complex Issue Debated Essay

- Safe nurse-patient ratio is a complex issue debated on for many years. Due to inadequate staffing registered Nurses are faced with high patient ratios, and nurse burn out everyday. According to the American Nurses Association, “Massive Reductions in nursing budgets combined with, the challenges presented by a growing nursing shortage have resulted in fewer nurses working longer hours for sicker patients. This situation compromises care and contributes to the nursing shortage by creating an environment that drives nurses from the bedside”....   [tags: Nursing, Patient, Hospital, Nurse]

Strong Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)

Communication Between Patient And Nurse Essay

- When asked what the major factor in communication between patient and nurse, the first thing that comes to mind are call bells. “…the call bell is considered to be a patient’s lifeline. It is perhaps one of the few means of control that patients have over their situation” (Deitrick, Bovoy, Stern, and Panik, 2006, p. 316). With that being stated, patients use call bells to let their nursing staff know if a they need anything such as toileting needs, pain management, repositioning, or even getting up out of their bed to ambulate....   [tags: Nurse, Nursing, Nursing shortage, Patient]

Strong Essays
1921 words (5.5 pages)

Patient Satisfaction : The Nurse 's Role Essay

- Patient satisfaction: The nurse’s role Our one main purpose, as nurses, is most importantly patient care. Nurses know that the need of others is why they are brought onto this role. Although, there are times where patients are dissatisfied with their care. Whether, it is the lack of communication, an issue with the doctor, other staff, or the nurse. What could we do to satisfy patients in there time of need. Patients are cared for by many healthcare personal, but the nurse is there when they are at their worst state....   [tags: Nursing, Nurse, Patient, Health care provider]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)