First Advisor

Suit, Louise

Thesis Committee Member(s)

McCallum, Colleen


McCallum, Colleen & Finn, Cris


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

118 pages


The issue of mandatory nurse-patient ratios remains controversial among many vested stakeholders, including nurses, patients, physicians, unions, nursing organizations, researchers, employers (in particular hospitals), and federal and state governments (Douglas, 2010). The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between patient falls and day-to-day, shift-to-shift variations in unit level staffing on the Medical / Surgical Unit at a small hospital in the southern area of the country. The goal of the study was to examine the association between nurse-patient ratios and patient outcomes as it relates to a culture of safety. Over a three month period from January 01, 2013, through March 31, 2013, patient falls was compared with registered nurse staffing on the busy Medical Surgical Unit with the bed capacity of 52. Data analysis revealed no significant differences in the patient falls and nurse staffing ratios (p> .05). Hourly rounding was found to be imperative to patient safety and the most valued intervention to prevent falls in this acute care facility.

Date of Award

Fall 2013

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

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