Traditionally, of course, hospital administrators have cut costs by cutting the nursing staff because nurses’ salaries make up almost 50% of a hospital’s operating budget.
Today, the demand for nurses continues to grow, and well-publicized reports and research suggest that nurses are vital to maintaining patient safety and quality patient outcomes.
(See Requirements for staffing systems in pdf format by clicking on the download now button.) In a few states, some interesting alternatives to mandated nurse-patient ratios have evolved.
Sharing such information with hospital administrators may allay fears that worthwhile hospital initiatives have to take a backseat to hiring nursing staff.California, Connecticut, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington have adopted staffing plans.