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Nurse-to resident ratio


In relation to the presence of nurses and nursing specialists, the following requirements exist:

  • Belgium (Flanders): five fully qualified nurses for every 30 residents. A nurse should be present at all times.
  • —Croatia: four nurses to 20 residents (in units providing care to people with dementia).
  • —Germany: If there are more than four dependent residents, every second member of the staff should  be a nursing specialist[54]. There should be, at least, one nursing specialist during the night.
  • Ireland: at all times care should be supervised by a registered nurse on duty. The number of registered nurses required is determined by the assessment tool. At any point in time, the number and skill mix of staff on duty is determined and provided according to a transparently applied, nationally validated, assessment tool, to plan for and meet the needs of the residents. This is subject to regular review.
  • Lithuania: one nurse to 10–30 residents.
  • Luxembourg: at least one member of the staff should be a registered nurse. In facilities with 50–100 residents a second nurse should be present from 6am to 10pm. In facilities with more than 100 residents, a second nurse should be present at all times.
  • Malta: at least one qualified registered nurse on duty during every shift.
  • —Netherlands: a qualified nurse on call who can reach the facility within 30 minutes.
  • —Portugal: one nurse to 40 residents, one nurse to 20 residents who are highly dependent.
  • Switzerland (canton of Zurich): at least 50% of the staff providing care must be a nursing specialist.
  • —Turkey: in any residential care facility there should be at least one nurse (or “health officer”). One nurse to every 30 residents.
  • UK Northern Ireland (Care Standards for Nursing Homes): at least 35 per cent of the staff should be registered nurses and 65 per cent care assistants.


54   In Germany, a nursing specialist is a nurse or a geriatric nurse with at least two years of professional experience.






Last Updated: Friday 31 January 2020


  • Acknowledgements

    This Dementia in Europe Yearbook received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of the Yearbook represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.
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