Goals: The presentation of importance of the enactment of safe staffing that concerns nurse to patient ratios, in relation to quality of patient care given, to the promotion of healthy work environments for nurses and in relation with the reduction of health cost, as well as the presentation of countries that legislated law about the guaranteed and safe nurse staffing.
Plan: Methodology of subjective content analysis was followed.
Data Sources: Electronic bases of Blackwell-synergy and Medline (1970-2007) with key words: nurse, registered nurses, safety, staffing, nurse to patient ratio. Supplemental bibliography has been reached through other internet search machines as well as through bibliographic references of retrieved articles.
Method of review: Methodology of subjective content analysis that call for a close –up reading, identification of the subjects repeated and classification in greater categories.The procedure resulted in setting two subject categories: safe nurse staffing in relation to the patient, the nurse and the organization and the legislation of countries about nurse staffing.
Results: Staffing ratios have been first recommended in Belgium in 1987, using a minimum data set of 12 nurses to 30 beds. In the Australian state of Victoria in 2000 specific nurse-to-patient ratios have been implemented, according to the hospital category. In 2005 the American state of California established 1:5 nurse to patient ratio, in wards.
Conclusions: Safe and sufficient staffing is the key for quality and safety in healthcare.The definition of the right synthesis of personnel is important.
Key words: nurse, nurse to patient ratio, safety, staffing.