Questions to Ask About Safe Staffing Before Accepting Employment
- Who is the chief nursing officer, to whom does she or he report, and does she or he have -authority over staffing?
- Who controls the staffing budget?
- Is the level of staffing an active and ongoing discussion in the organization, and do staff nurses have input?
- Does the organization have a shared governance model?
- When, where, and how is staffing input obtained from staff nurses?
- How do ratios in the organization compare with recommendations of national and regional -organizations, such as the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Association of Critical Care Nurses?
- What is the content and length of orientation for new nurses?
- What is the philosophy regarding staff mix designations?
- What is the frequency of floating to other nursing units?
- What are the criteria used by the organization in determining competency of cross-trained staff?
- What resources does the organization use to supplement staff during peak census?
- If concerns arise about the adequacy of staffing, where and to whom is it appropriate to voice those concerns?
- How are overtime, on-call time, and cancellation of regularly scheduled shifts handled?
- Does the organization mandate overtime? If so can the staff nurse refuse to participate without repercussions?
- What is the turnover rate, and what is the average longevity of staff nurses?
- What opportunities for advancement exist in the organization, such as clinical ladders or other systems of recognition?
- Where does the organization expect discussions about staffing or practice issues to take place?
- Is there a conflict resolution process in place?
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