1. Doyle , Brittany R.
  2. Smith , Lisa M.
  3. Marshall , Jade L.
  4. Carlisle , Byron A.
  5. Perera , Anjali C.


BACKGROUND: Staffing models within nursing units have long been a hot topic of discussion. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this discussion by straining the national nursing environment and workforce. Before the pandemic, the neuroscience intensive care unit (NSICU) primarily used an acuity-adjusted staffing model and aimed for a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:1.5. During and after the pandemic, the NSICU was forced to primarily use a centralized staffing model because of the increased turnover in the hospital at large and a rise in patient census. METHODS : Unit census data in an NSICU were tracked before, during, and after the pandemic alongside utilization of a centralized staffing model in the hospital at large. RESULTS : During this time, the NSICU saw a statistically significant increase in average nurse-to-patient ratio and incidences of both floating and tripled assignments. The NSICU simultaneously saw a 180% increase in nursing turnover. CONCLUSION : Although we cannot prove that a centralized staffing model is directly responsible for higher nursing turnover, its utilization led to greater incidence of poor staffing—reflected in deviation from the nurse-to-patient ratio goal of the unit. Nurse staffing concerns play a large role in nurse satisfaction in the workforce: staffing shortages have been described both as a precursor to and as a consequence of increased nursing turnover.