• nursing time;
  • rehabilitation care activities;
  • rehabilitation nursing;
  • resident assessment instrument;
  • staff time

Nurses are primary managers of rehabilitation nursing activities. When improving rehabilitation nursing, it is important to understand the content of care provided and time spent on residents. This study discusses the allocation of nursing staff time within a context of rehabilitation nursing. The variables of rehabilitation nursing and residents' characteristics were derived from the Resident Assessment Instrument. The wage-adjusted direct nursing time was obtained from a time measurement study carried out in November 2002 in long-term care facilities in southern Finland. The average direct wage-adjusted nursing time spent on resident was 93.8 min per day. Residents receiving daily rehabilitation nursing were allocated ∼8 min more wage-adjusted direct nursing time than their peers. More ‘hands in care’ staff is required for adopting rehabilitation nursing in long-term care units. Maximizing residents' independency should be the goal for rehabilitation care and therefore the focus for allocating both nursing and rehabilitation staff to units and facilities.