Thanks to the QNMU, legislated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios were implemented in July 2016 in Queensland Health prescribed facilities. In the two years after implementation, there were:


The QNMU has had great success over the years with getting the State Government to roll out minimum ratios in mental health wards and state-run nursing homes. 

And most recently, the government passed legislation stipulating that a newborn baby is to be counted as a patient when they are staying on a maternity ward with their birthing parent. Under the new law, Queensland will become the only state or territory in Australia to count both mothers and babies in midwifery ratios! It's an important step towards achieving the promised 1:6 midwife to mother and baby ratio across all Queensland Health maternity services.

No matter where you live, every patient and resident in Queensland deserves safe, high quality nursing and midwifery care.
That’s why we need minimum nurse/midwife-to-patient ratios everywhere – to ensure there are enough nurses, midwives and carers to provide the care all Queenslanders deserve.

Read our campaign frequently asked questions

Nurses and midwives are up for the challenge

We've officially launched the next phase of our Ratios Save Lives and Money campaign - Strengthening and Expanding the Care Guarantee.

Our key asks include:
  • Further refine and expand legislated minimum ratios in the public sector
  • Further improve application and compliance with the Business Planning Framework (BPF) in the public sector 
  • Mandate minimum ratios in the private and private aged care sector
  • Refine and expand legislated public reporting of safety and quality performance to include indicators specific to nursing and midwifery in public, private and aged care sectors, and
  • Mandate minimum positive practice environment standards in public, private and aged care sectors.

Positive Practice Environment Standards for Nursing and Midwifery 

  We know current legislated ratios in Queensland Health facilities have worked best in areas where a positive practice environment exists.
As part of the next phase of the QNMU’s Ratios Save Lives and Money campaign, nurses and midwives are seeking to mandate minimum positive practice environment standards across all nursing and midwifery services.

Find out more