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ICU Nurse-to-Patient Staffing Ratios

In Massachusetts, all hospitals that operate intensive care units are required to report their quarterly ICU-registered nurse-to-patient staffing ratios to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, effective with the first quarter of 2016 (January to March). HPC Regulation 95 CMR 8.00 to Implement the ICU Nurse Staffing Law was signed into law by then Governor Patrick on June 30, 2014.

Hospitals with ICUs must report the following information quarterly:
• Type of ICU
• Average daily patient census
• Average daily nurse census
• Average daily staff nurse-to-patient ratio

The law provides in part that “in all intensive care units the patient assignment for the registered nurse shall be 1:1 or 1:2 depending on the stability of the patient as assessed by the acuity tool and by the staff nurses in the unit, including the nurse manager or the nurse manager’s designee when needed to resolve a disagreement.”  The law became effective on September 28, 2014.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s ICU Staffing
Reporting Period
Name of ICU
Type of ICU
Average Daily Patient Census
Average Daily Staff Nurse Census
Average Daily Staff Nurse-to-Patient Ratio
Jan – Mar 2016 (Q1/2016) Critical Care Unit General Med/Surg 5.121 3.848 1 Nurse to 1.331 ICU Patients
Apr – Jun 2016 (Q2/2016) Critical Care Unit General Med/Surg 5.813 4.472 1 Nurse to 1.300 ICU Patients
Jul – Sep 2016 (Q3/16) Critical Care Unit General Med/Surg 4.641 3.708 1 Nurse to 1.252 ICU Patients
Oct – Dec 2016 (Q4/2016) Critical Care Unit General Med/Surg 4.728 3.601 1 Nurse to 1.313 ICU Patients
Jan – Mar 2017 (Q1/2017) Critical Care Unit General Med/Surg 5.611 4.203 1 Nurse to 1.335 ICU Patients

Read more about the ICU nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.