Psychiatric Nurse Staffing in Hospitals: Is it Adequate?

Acute psychiatric care is an essential component of a comprehensive system of mental health services (The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003). Dramatic shifts in psychiatric inpatient utilization patterns began in 1955 with the deinstitutionalization from long-stay psychiatric hospitals to community care settings. This was accompanied by an overall decline of psychiatric inpatient beds per capita (Center for Mental Health Services, 2006).