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Developing a staffing plan to meet inpatient unit needs

Nursing Management (Springhouse): May 2018 - Volume 49 - Issue 5 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000533674.80369.31
CE Connection

GENERAL PURPOSE: To provide detailed processes for calculating the numbers of FTE positions to staff an inpatient unit. LEARNING OBJECTIVES/OUTCOMES: After completing this continuing-education activity, you should be able to: 1. Identify five steps that must be considered when developing a successful staffing plan. 2. Identify the importance of FTE calculations and allocation in preparing a successful staffing plan.

  1. When considering staffing ratios, the successful nurse leader finds the right balance between quality, safety, fiscal responsibility, and
    1. patient satisfaction.
    2. facility expectations.
    3. staff satisfaction.
  2. Which statement about an FTE is accurate?
    1. Each employee is considered 1.0 FTE.
    2. One employee or a combination of employees who work 80 hours in a 14-day period equals 1.0 FTE.
    3. For staffing on a unit, an FTE must be a clinical professional.
  3. One individual's portion of the budgeted FTE allocation is determined by calculating
    1. the hours per day the employee works multiplied by days per pay period the employee works divided by 80 hours.
    2. the hours per week the employee works divided by 40 hours.
    3. the hours per pay period the employee works divided by 80 hours.
  4. Which of the following is a mistake sometimes made in staffing calculations?
    1. counting 12 hours/day, 3 days a week as 1.0 FTE
    2. including the unit secretary in the staffing mix
    3. including both productive and nonproductive hours
  5. A 12-hour shift employee (paid full time for 72 hours per pay period) is counted as
    1. 0.8 FTE.
    2. 0.9 FTE.
    3. 1.0 FTE.
  6. Position control is another name for
    1. the calculations done for optimal staffing.
    2. the staffing roster.
    3. a list of open positions on a unit.
  7. To account for fluctuating census, you should base your staffing estimate on
    1. how many FTEs you need to cover departmental needs for the majority of the time.
    2. a 3-month average unit census.
    3. the previous year's figures for the same time period.
  8. Which of the following is the unit of service often used to determine the measurement of work on a med-surg unit?
    1. the average daily number of ADT
    2. midnight census
    3. patient acuity data
  9. What's the definition of HPPD?
    1. the number of hours the patient was on the unit during the day
    2. the number of staff needed on the unit to care for all patients
    3. the average number of hours required to care for each patient on the unit
  10. Formulas for developing staffing plans
    1. take into consideration fluctuations in patient admissions.
    2. are valuable for developing and defending a staffing plan.
    3. are determined by the facility's human resources department.
  11. Which of the following identifies the most frequently occurring census point?
    1. mean
    2. median
    3. mode
  12. Which unit of measurement is the best for determining the measurement of work?
    1. mean
    2. median
    3. mode
  13. To calculate productive hours, which of the following must be taken into account?
    1. 8- or 12-hour shifts
    2. average census
    3. skill mix
  14. Which of the following isn't considered a measurement of patient outcomes on a unit?
    1. infection rates
    2. medication errors
    3. number of procedures performed
  15. Which type of unit is most likely to have a flatter, or more equal, need for staffing on each shift?
    1. surgical ICU
    2. med-surg floor
    3. pediatric unit
  16. Which of the following is imperative to determine proper staffing ratios?
    1. staff willing to work additional shifts when necessary
    2. physicians' routines
    3. support from human resources
  17. Which of the following statements is accurate?
    1. The manager must be included in staffing calculations.
    2. The manager's FTE is added to the calculated RN FTEs for the day shift.
    3. The manager is included in staffing calculations only when he or she serves in a staff capacity.
  18. For nonproductive time, the author recommends
    1. obtaining the average percentage of nonproductive time from human resources.
    2. including only the paid hours not spent providing patient care.
    3. calculating these hours for your department annually at budget time.
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