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Nurse perspectiveThe Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) has discussed for the past decade policy on nursing shortages. Nurse staffing issues has been a front runner of discussion for nurses in Virginia. The past president of VNA Terri Haller, established a work group on the issue in 2007. Multiple associations engaged in the work group (AARP, VONE, VHHA, the ANA Safe StaffingSaves lives campaign, and multiple staff nurses) (Brown et al., n.d.). The consensus of the grouprecommends focusing on education rather than ratios stating it would not solve the problem. In May of 2017 around 800 nurses from 40 different states assembled in Washington, DC at the Nurses Take DC rally to support mandating requirements of nurse-to-patient ratios, and encourage the knowledge of the crisis. Multiple nurses commented on extreme staffing problemsand high burnouts at their hospitals. “In our ED [emergency department], someone the other night was taking care of seven patients, one nurse from this group said. And these were sick patients, people with LVADs [left ventricular assist devices], and ICU patients” (Kinsella, 2017). These nurses wanted to shed light on how there is a large issue with nurse-to-patient ratios and the need to fight for legislation of it. My viewI relate to this bill personally. I recently lost someone close to me due to surgery complications and post-op complications. I wondered, why did this happen? There was only a 5% chance of something going wrong. The doctors also changed their initial surgical entry to a
8Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2017different position to lead to fewer complications. During visits with her in the ICU it was noticedthat there were very few staff around. Were the reasons for the complications due to being understaffed and the nurses not having enough time to notice the small complications that lead tomuch larger ones and eventually lead to her death. I fully support the passing of Nurse Staffing Standard for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2017; it will lead to improvement inthe workplace, less financial burden on hospitals, lower cost in annual nurse turnover, and fewer cases of endangerment of patients and nurses which is all due to understaffing. H.R.2392H.R. 2392 will improve the Public Health Service Act which will make hospitals apply and submit a formal staffing plan that coincides with a specific nurse-to-patient ratio to theDepartment of Health and Human Services (HHS). Hospitals must follow the mandated minimum staffing ratio in all units at all times as well as during allotted breaks except during state of emergency’s (see appendix table A). The bill requires a classification system to be put in place based on patient needs. Hospitals are prohibited to give nurses mandatory overtime. They are also required to allow nurses to refuse to give care if that nurse does not feel they have enough education or has the experience to give appropriate care to a patient. The nurse-to-patient
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Nursing, Nurse Staffing Standards, Nurse Staffing Standard