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Nr 504: Leadership and Nursing Practice: Role Development

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Submitted By tracyjo
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Nurse to Patient Ratios in Acute Care Hospitals

Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR 504: Leadership and Nursing Practice: Role Development
Spring B 2011

My vision for nursing is a simple one. It is not grand or extravagant and therefore, should be easily attainable. The problem is, is that as with any vision, there will be obstacles along the way. I hope to be able to overcome these obstacles and make my vision become a reality. My vision is to establish a guideline to lower the nurse to patient ratios in acute care hospitals, so that the quality of care given to patients as well as employee satisfaction can be significantly raised.
Key Concepts of Vision The current nurse to patient ratio at my hospital is 1 nurse to 7 patients. I do not feel that this ratio is appropriate. My vision is to implement a new ratio guideline, lowering the ratio to 1 nurse per 5 patients with the exception being made for high acuity patients. I would then like the ratio to be 1 nurse to every 4 patients. A high acuity patient with a major trauma would be harder to care for than someone admitted for dehydration. The charge nurse would be in charge of designating which type of acuity patients and how many are assigned to each nurse. This procedure is currently in place, but with the new guideline, there would be less patients assigned to each nurse. This would result in a safer work environment, better patient care, and a great recruitment incentive for nurses (Gonzalez, 2007).
Critique of Evidence There has been lots of research done about lower nurse to patient ratios and the outcomes have been very favorable for the patient, the nurse, and the hospital. California became the first state to mandate minimum nurse to patient ratios in 1999 (Coffman, Seago, & Spetz, 2002).
One study states that registered nurses are complaining that the low…...

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