Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

The Nurse-Patient Assignment: Purposes and Decision Factors

Allen, Stephanie B. PhD, RN, NE-BC

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: December 2015 - Volume 45 - Issue 12 - p 628–635
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000276

OBJECTIVE: Identify purposes and decision factors of the nurse-patient assignment process.

BACKGROUND: Nurse-patient assignments can positively impact patient, nurse, and environmental outcomes.

METHODS: This was an exploratory study involving interviews with 14 charge nurses from 11 different nursing units in 1 community hospital.

RESULTS: Charge nurses identified 14 purposes and 17 decision factors of the nurse-patient assignment process.

CONCLUSIONS: The nurse-patient assignment is a complex process driven by the patient, nurse, and environment. Further study is needed to identify factors linked to patient safety, nurse, and environmental outcomes.

Author Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Pace University, Pleasantville, New York.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Allen, Lienhard School of Nursing, L310, 861 Bedford Rd, Pleasantville, NY 10570 (

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.