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Where can I find nurse-patient ratio information?

Dear Nancy,

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?

Tina Marie

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.

Cordially, Nancy

By | 2015-05-27T21:21:49+00:00 May 4th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, National, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.

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