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1Running head: SAFE STAFFING Safe Nurse StaffingTan CastroHealth Policy, NURS 6205George Washington UniversityUnited States of America[email protected]12 February 2020Keywords: nurse staffing, patient outcomes, nurse-driven ratios, autonomy, hospitalsNumber of Words: 1818Number of exhibits: 2
2SAFE STAFFING NURSE STAFFING ISSUENurse staffing issue has remained the hot topic in hospitals due to their affect in patient and family outcomes, and job satisfaction of nurses. As a nursing student, I’ve seen the struggles of nurses running around different rooms caring for several patients per shift. Each unit is different; some are more hectic, few seems content. I have been in a unit where nurses have 6-7 patients at a time. I didn’t understand how they expect them to sit for a few minutes, look at labs, trends, answering calls, collaborate with other healthcare providers, and critically think for each patient at a time. This sparked my interest in nurse staffing policies. According to an article posted on healthcare media, nurses who are in charge of several patients may run therisk of becoming too stressed out and, therefore, more at risk at making medical mistakes as a result of patient workload (Heath, 2018). How many is too many? It seems like majority of the nurses are assigned too many patients at a time. In 2015, a study wasconducted on 2114 registered nurses from 156 medical and surgical units of 49 general hospitals; they reported thatonly 9% of the nurses in their study perceived current staffing to be sufficient, whereas 91% of the nurses who perceived current staffing to be insufficient, were likely to miss 2.53 more nursing activities (Cho et al., 2020). One study found that an increase workload related to additional patient per RN raised the likelihood of an inpatient dying within 30 days of admission by 7% (Aiken et al., 2014). Another study was conducted by AACN in 2018; they reported that 50% of the respondents who are planning to quit the profession said that if better staffing is implemented it would make them reconsider their decision (AACN, 2019).
3SAFE STAFFING Exhibit 1: “Nurse Retention tips” (2018)LEGISLATION BACKGROUND AND CURRENT STATUSThe Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act was introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Representative Jan Schakowsky, titled H.R. 2581 on May 8, 2019. The same bill was also introduced in the United States senate by Senator Sherrod Brown, titled S. 1357 in the 116thCongress. The H.R. 2581 bill was referred to two committees, the committee on Energy and Commerce and the committee on Ways and Means. This bill requires acute care facilities to have a fixed minimum nurse to patient ratio on each unit at all times. The staffing plan must be created by a committee of at least 50 percent direct care nurses, evaluated each shift, and adjusted based on acuity and unit needs ("H.R.