A major nurses union is bringing a campaign to write minimum hospital staffing ratios into law to the District, kicking off a major legislative fight with hospital owners and operators
According to National Nurses United, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will introduce the "Patient Protection Act" on Tuesday at the union's request. National Nurses United first came to D.C. in 2010, when nurses at MedStar Washington Hospital Center voted amid a year-long labor to affiliate with the California group.
The union has scheduled a press conference Monday morning to discuss the bill and release a study on patient safety that will presumably be used to bolster their argument for the law.
Seeing the bill as a major threat to hospitals' financial stability, the D.C. Hospital Association is ramping up a fierce effort to kill the bill, president Robert Malson said last week. The number of nurses needed to safely care for a patient varies constantly with their condition, he said, and neither private health insurers, the government nor patients will be willing to shoulder higher labor costs imposed by a mandate. ...