Safe Staffing

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The Delaware Nurses Association supports the development and implementation of valid, reliable, unit-by-unit nurse staffing plans that are based upon the ANA Principles for Nurse Staffing. These plans should be created in coordination with direct care registered nurses (RNs) and based on each unit's unique circumstances and changing needs.

Nurse staffing committees should be comprised of 55% direct care nurses. The staffing plans must:
  • Establish upwardly adjustable minimum ratios of direct care RNs to patients for each unit and shift.
  • Include input from direct care RNs.
  • Be based upon patient numbers and the variability intensity of care needed.
  • Take into account:
    • the level of education, training, and experience of the RNs providing care
    • staffing levels and services provided by other health care personnel
    • unit and facility level staffing, quality, and patient outcome data and national comparisons as available
    • other factors imparting the delivery of care, including unit geography and available technology
  • Consider staffing levels recommended by specialty nursing organizations.
  • Ensure that RNs are not forced to work in units where they are not trained or experienced.

Keep Patients Safe
Increased RN staffing was associated with lower hospital related mortality and adverse patient events and generates societal net savings from avoided patient adverse events. (NURSING ECONOMIC$, September-October 2009)

Retain Experienced Nurses
The average cost of turnover for a bedside RN ranges from $36,900 to $57,300 resulting in the average hospital losing $6.2M. RN turnover will cost a hospital from $4.9M – $7.6M. Each percent change in RN turnover will cost the average hospital an additional $379,500. (NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc. , 2015)

NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc. . (2015). 2015 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report . Petersburg: NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc.
NURSING ECONOMIC$. (September-October 2009). Cost Savings Associated with Increased RN Staffing in Acute Care Hospitals : Simulation Exercise. NURSING ECONOMIC$, 302-331.