WV Gov. Wise Signs Nurses Overtime Bill

  1. :hatparty:
    February 25, 2004

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. * Gov. Bob Wise today signed S.B. 251, the Nurses Overtime Bill.

    "Nurses are the largest group of licensed health care providers in the state. They are called upon to evaluate patients and make life altering decisions in split seconds," Wise said. "To preserve the high quality of care we require, hospitals must rely on registered professional nurses to manage patient care. We cannot ask nurses to work hours on end, jeopardizing patient and employee lives."

    This legislation provides that a hospital cannot compel a nurse to work overtime if the nurse believes it would jeopardize the safety of patients and employees. The prohibition does not apply to: voluntary overtime; when a nurse needs to complete a patient's care procedure already in progress; when a collective bargaining agreement is in place incorporating a procedure for the hospital to require overtime; or when an unforeseen emergency arises.

    A nurse who works more than 12 consecutive permitted hours must be allowed at least eight consecutive hours off-duty.

    "This legislation provides enhanced patient safety, while improving the working conditions of our nursing work force * covering more than 10,000 nurses at 60 hospitals statewide," Wise said.

    Wise also praised the work and dedication of the Nurses Association and the Hospital Association for their efforts in the passage of this bill.

    The new law goes into effect May 17, 2004.
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  3. by   Paleobug
  4. by   gwenith
    Hopefully West Virginia will see an increase in recruitment and retention which will send out a message to other states for everyone to get the same benefits. Congratulations!!!
  5. by   Blackcat99
    :hatparty: That's wonderful news! When I use to live in West Virginia I couldn't answer my phone because it was always my job calling me. Even if it was my day off I was told if someone called me on the phone that they could mandate me to come in to work on my day off!! So I refused to answer my phone period and all my phone calls had to be screened first by my answering machine. :hatparty:
  6. by   sjoe
    "A nurse who works more than 12 consecutive permitted hours must be allowed at least eight consecutive hours off-duty."

    That is an ACHIEVEMENT? Truck drivers have better working rules than this.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    If you've ever worked in WVa as a nurse, that's a BIG step compared to what it WAS. Not saying things should stop here, BUT it's all gotta start somewhere.