January 2004, Volume 34 Number 1 , p 8 - [FREE]




Most of the views about nurse/patient ratios expressed by your panelists were as noncommittal and staged as interviews with Miss America contestants ("Mandatory Nurse/Patient Ratios: A Good Idea or Not?" Issues in Nursing, October). One panelist said that legislation would "fail to account for[horizontal ellipsis]variations in patient acuity, staff skill and expertise, hospital resources, and support services." There's no accounting for these variations now. So to her I say, please come out of your office, put on your scrubs, grab your stethoscope, and take a patient assignment. If every RN had to provide direct patient care and work in the glaring reality of hospital inadequacies, there wouldn't be this great misunderstanding, this great indifference, or this great need for legislated nurse/patient ratios.