2581," 2019). The bill provides methods for investigating complaints, penalize violators for failure to comply, protects whistleblowers, and sharing staffing information to the public ("H.R. 2581," 2019). Additionally, it protects nurses from declining an assignment that they feel is
4SAFE STAFFING beyond their clinical experience and demand proper training prior to practicing under their nursing license ("H.R. 2581," 2019).Fourteen states have currently addressed nurse staffing issues in hospitals. California was the only state to pass a fixed nurse staffing legislation in 1999 and later implemented in 2004; they require a minimum nurse to patient ratios to be maintained at all times by unit. Sevenstates, such as Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, have passed a legislation that requires hospitals to have staffing committees in charge of planning nurse-driven rations and staffing policies, while the laws in the other five states require hospitalsin the state to keep their staffing ratios available to public (ANA, 2015).DEBATE OVER LEGISLATIONNational Nurses United is the main proponent of the Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2019. The organization intends to promote comprehensive reform for patient safety such as nurse to patient ratio that modeled the California law. Senator Brown said, “We can prevent nurses working long hours by ensuring nurses are adequately staffed and by protecting their ability to go to management without the fear of retaliation.” Rep. Schakowsky added, “This bill will improve health of patients by establishing minimum registered nurse to patient ratios in hospitals and protecting the rights of nurses to advocate on behalf of their patients.” According to the literature, nurse satisfaction in California was found to increase after passing the mandatory nurse staffing ratios but it was not clearly associated with job retention or improved patient outcomes (Chapman et al., 2009). Two studies reported no significant changes to patient outcomes, such as incidence of patient falls and pressure ulcers, after the implementation of minimum nurse staffing. In addition, hospitals were found to have exceeded the minimum nurse staffing ratios but did not have enough nursesto cover meal breaks (Chapman et al., 2009). To prevent a big fine to the hospital, nurses who were beginning a shift at 7:00 a.m. get assigned lunch breaks at 10:00 a.m. in order to fit in all
5SAFE STAFFING breaks needed for the unit (Chapman et al., 2009). Nurses felt like they have less autonomy for not having a say on when they want to take their break.Hospitals represented by the American Hospital Association are the main opposing side of this legislation due to problem with financing for hiring new nurses and availability of nurses to meet demand. It is also predicted by economists that hospital costs would go up because of higher wages and additional money to attract more registered nurses (Munnich, 2014). Some hospitals clarified that they are mainly concerned about mandated nurse-to-patient ratios due to its rigid format that may negatively affect the hospital as a whole. According to a journal from Health Affairs, minimum nurse to patient ratios could lead hospitals to focus too much money on
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 9 pages?
- Summer '20
- Nursing, Nurse Staffing Standards