With nursing the way it is right now in this economy, Will safe staffing bills be anything more than a dream???
I read this article and it made me wonder. Did the safe staffing legislation in California work? Are the patients safer? Do the nurses have less patients? Or will it become like the violence against nurses law.....there on the books but not really enforced.
"In 2011, no fewer than 15 states introduced nurse staffing bills into their legislatures. And according to the American Nurses Association (ANA), 11 states introduced staffing legislation in the first 2 months of 2012 alone.
Meanwhile, not one but two federal bills that would hold the nation's hospitals accountable for providing safe, appropriate nurse staffing levels were introduced in the U.S. Congress for the 2011-12 session:
The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (S. 58/H.R. 876) would require Medicare-participating facilities to create unit-by-unit staffing plans establishing adjustable minimum numbers of LMs for each unit, based on such factors as patient numbers and patient acuity. These plans would be developed by staffing committees that must be comprised of at least 55 percent direct care nurses.
The National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act (S. 992/H.R. 2187) would amend the Public Health Service Act to require hospitals to implement a staffing plan that includes minimum RN-to-patient ratios as well as minimum LPN staffing levels. The bill also allows for adjustments above the minimum ratios "under appropriate circumstances."
Although demand for legally mandated staffing requirements that will ensure a safe hospital environment for both patients and nurses appears to be rising rapidly, this issue isn't new.
Since the passage in 1999 of California's historic ratio-based staffing legislation, 15 states plus Washington, DC, now have some form of staffing laws or regulations on their books.
But why is there still no national safe staffing law despite the publication of study after study showing a direct correlation between insufficient nurse staffing and adverse patient outcomes, including death?" end quote
Read the entire article http://nursing.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/The-Politics-of-Staffing.aspx
What do you think?