Guidance on safe nurse staffing levels in the UK

09 December 2010
Staffing levels have always been an issue. “What is the optimal level and mix of nurses required to deliver quality care as cost-effectively as possible?” is a perennial question. This report sets out the range of different factors that influence the total demand for staff and highlights the variety of methods for planning or reviewing staffing levels.

The RCN recommends that government health departments undertake the work required to identify the prevalence and efficacy of approaches to planning nurse staffing. Effective and inexpensive systems need to be supported by health departments so that they are readily accessible to employers, and so reduce dependence on commercial systems of unknown provenance.

If you have any comments or wish to contribute further, please email

Page last updated - 23/03/2017