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  1. Henneman, Philip L. MD
  2. Shin, Seung Yeob MS
  3. Brun, Yuriy PhD
  4. Balasubramanian, Hari PhD
  5. Blank, Fidela MN, MBA, RN
  6. Osterweil, Leon J. PhD


OBJECTIVE: To study the impact of nurse-to-patient ratios on patient length of stay (LOS) in computer simulations of emergency department (ED) care.


METHODS: Multiple 24-hour computer simulations of emergency care were used to evaluate the impact of different minimum nurse-to-patient ratios related to ED LOS, which is composed of wait (arrival to bed placement) and bedtime (bed placement to leave bed).


RESULTS: Increasing the number of patients per nurse resulted in increased ED LOS. Mean bedtimes in minutes were impacted by nurse-to-patient ratios.


CONCLUSIONS: In computer simulation of ED care, increasing the number of patients per nurse resulted in increasing delays in care (ie, increasing bedtime).