I am an LPN working as the program nurse at an adult day facility, and I cannot find any regulations for nurse-participant legal ratio. I am the only nurse on staff and our census has more than doubled to 80 participants with a daily average of 50. Do you have any information?
Dear Tina Marie,
Any required nurse-patient ratios would be found in your state’s statutes. One place to begin is your state nurse or LPN practice act and/or rules for any guidance. You can read the act and/or rules on your state board of nursing’s website.
A second place to check would be in the licensing statutes regulating adult day facilities. Sections that might be helpful to look for are staffing requirements, nurse-patient ratios and/or required staff credentials. You can locate these sections by placing your state’s name and then adult day facility laws into your browser to bring up applicable laws. Then look for the above-named sections.
As this research may take you some time, the first thing you might want to do is share your concerns about your participant load and being the only nurse to handle 50-80 patients daily with the professional to whom you report. Although you did not describe your responsibilities, it certainly does seem like a lot of individuals for one person to oversee.
When you discuss your concerns with this person, you might want to suggest not only hiring another LPN to help you with your responsibilities but also hiring some CNAs to help with care you can delegate so you are free to do what is required by a licensed professional. Another option is to see if there are volunteers in the community who could help in some way with your participants.
You also could check with your local LPN professional association, which might have the information readily available or can refer you to someone who can get it for you.