Running head: REGISTERED NURSE SAFE STAFFING ACT1Health Issue PolicyH.R.2083 Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015Crystal AndersonLiberty University
REGISTERED NURSE SAFE STAFFING ACT2AbstractResearch has shown a significant link between adequate nurse staffing and better patient outcomes. Studies have also shown increasing nurse staffing can decrease overall healthcare costs and increase patient satisfaction (H. R. 2038, 2015). The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015 protects patients and nurses by allowing direct patient care nurses to work within their hospitals to create staffing plans which best fit the needs of the patients, staff, and the hospital (American Nurses Association, 2016). It is important this bill become law to protect nurses and ensure patients receive safe, quality healthcare in hospitals. Key words: nurse, nurse staffing, hospitals, patient outcomes, safety, quality
REGISTERED NURSE SAFE STAFFING ACT3Introduction of H.R. 2083 Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act was reintroduced to the United States House of Representatives on April 29, 2015 by former nurse Rep. Lois Capps. The bill aims to create saferpatient care in hospitals by requiring hospitals receiving Medicare funding to maintain safe nursestaffing standards. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and Committee on Ways and Means on the date it was introduced to the House of Representatives (H.R. 2083, 2015). S.1132 also known as the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015 is the related bill introduced to the United States Senate by Sen. Jeff Merkley on April 29, 2015 which has also been referred to committee (S. 1132, 2015). Background and SignificanceAccording to the American Nurses Association (ANA) (2015), current federal regulation found in “42 Code of Federal Regulations (42CFR 482.23(b) requires hospitals receiving Medicare reimbursement to have adequate numbers of licensed registered nurses, licensed practical (vocational) nurses, and other personnel to provide nursing care to all patients as needed” (“Nurse Staffing”, para. 3). However, the ANA also believes the terminology used in theFederal Regulation to be to broad, therefore not addressing the need for increased nursing staff with proper education and experience. There have been several pieces of new legislation introduced to the US Congress over the years to address nurse staffing. The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act was first introduced in 2003 by Senator Daniel Inouye. Since 2003, the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act has been reintroduced six times without congressional approval (Civic Impulse, 2017). Multiple states have also introduced similar staffing legislation, with California being the most rigid. In addition, California was the first to pass nurse staffing legislation into law in 1999 which was then implemented in 2004 (Kasprak, 2004). Since then,
REGISTERED NURSE SAFE STAFFING ACT4according to the ANA (2016), 14 other states have passed laws or regulations regarding safe nurse staffing in hospitals. Laws range from minimum, specific, numerical nurse to patient ratios
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