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I would like to know the legal limit as to the number of patients an LPN can have.

Monday January 21, 2013
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I am working the night shift in a skilled nursing facility. I would like to know the legal limit as to the number of patients an LPN can have.

Melissa



Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Melissa,

You will need to check your state's laws to determine if there are minimum or maximum requirements for the number of patients an LPN can care for. Such laws would include the state nurse practice act (or the LPN act, if separate), the rules to administer the act, the regulations governing long-term-care facilities in your state and, of course, Medicare and Medicaid requirements.

Although this information may be found easily on the Internet, you also can contact a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who handles healthcare issues to answer your question. Another option, if it is available, is to send in a question to the Florida Board of Nursing via its website. The website also may have FAQs you can download about nurse to patient ratios.

Regards,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.