Nurse staffing models in medical-surgical units of acute care settings: A cross-sectional study

Ashagre Molla Assaye, Richard Wiechula, Timothy J. Schultz, Rebecca Feo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Nurse staffing models have been developed across different countries to address nursing shortages and improve quality of nursing care. However, there is no published study that describes nurse staffing models in Ethiopian hospitals. Aims: To describe the existing staffing models for nursing practice in acute care units of two hospitals (one public and one private) in Ethiopia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from July to December 2018. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data such as shift patterns, hours worked, and number of patients cared for per shift. Unit-level data on nurse staffing were collected using a checklist developed specifically for this study. Results: Fifty-nine percent (59.9%) of participants reported that they worked six or seven days per week. On average, they worked 50 hours per week and 12% working over 60 hours per week. The number of patients they provided care for during their last shift ranged from four to 45 with an average of 13 patients. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that nurses working in acute care settings in Ethiopia are typically working more than 40 hours per week and caring for many patients per shift, which has the potential to impact patient safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12812
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2019


  • acute care
  • Ethiopia
  • medical-surgical
  • nurse staffing
  • nursing
  • staffing models


Dive into the research topics of 'Nurse staffing models in medical-surgical units of acute care settings: A cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this