Nursing Home Nurse Staffing Report
New Jersey law requires Nursing Homes to report information on the number of staff involved in direct patient care. Under the law (2005 law), Nursing Homes are required to publicly post information that details direct resident care staffing levels within their facilities. They are also required to report daily staffing levels via a web-based system to the Department of Health. The law also requires that the Department makes this information available to the public on a quarterly basis. The quarterly reports, based on data reported to the Department by Nursing Homes, will show the average nurse staffing levels for a three-month period measured as staff-to-resident ratios for each of the following nurse categories.
- Registered Nurses (RNs)
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
- Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses: By law, RNs must assess nursing home residents' needs. RNs and LPNs work together to plan care, implement care and treatment, and evaluate residents' outcomes.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs): Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) work under the direction of a licensed nurse to assist residents with activities of daily living, i.e., eating, grooming, hygiene, dressing, transferring, and toileting.
In viewing the summary quarterly statistics, please note that:
- Nursing Homes may use a mix of nurse personnel - Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) – to provide daily health and other care needs to their residents.
- A nursing home's staffing levels may vary based on the location and affiliation of the nursing home. This report does not provide information as to whether a nursing home is located in a hospital, is a standalone facility, or is part of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).
- Quarterly staffing ratios may be used to compare Nursing Homes to one another or to the statewide averages. However, the quarterly reports do not take into account the residents’ needs for services or the differences in Nursing Homes policies and physical layouts, all of which may influence staffing requirements.
- The quarterly ratios measure the average staffing levels over a three-month period. The ratios are based on the daily staff-to-resident ratios that facilities report on DOH’s web-based report form.
- A RN-to-Resident ratio represents the average number of Nursing Home residents/patients served by each RN work-hour for any given shift/day. For example, a quarterly RN-to-Resident Ratio of 1:60 for a Day Shift means that, on average, the RN staffing level for the day shift in that facility is estimated at one RN per 60 residents (or patients).
- When facilities use fewer RNs/LPNs and less work-hours by RNs/LPNs, their RN or LPN-to-resident ratios tend to be high. On the other hand, the larger the numbers of RNs or LPNs and the longer hours worked by RNs/LPNs, the lower the ratios. A lower ratio means better staffing level.
- Care should be exercised when comparing staffing levels of different nursing homes. Some nursing homes care for sicker patients, like those who have just had an injury, surgery, or a serious illness. Such nursing homes generally have more staff and more staffing hours.
- Nursing home staff such as clerks, administrators, or housekeeping staff are not included in these staffing level numbers.