Nurse to patient law

  1. They are going to be introducing legislation to mandate nurse to patient ratios come January.

    Write your congressman folks.

    Now is our chance.

    Let's see what we can get done for 2007!
  2. Visit Mirth profile page

    About Mirth

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 14; Likes: 1


  3. by   meownsmile
    From what im hearing the bill proposes 1:7 patient ratio. Anyone have any links to read the full bill? 1:7 doesnt sound like such hot numbers to me depending on how they catagorize the staff. Links appreciated.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Movement for More Nurses Fueled by Cali. Victory

    ...The Illinois bills, introduced in late January, would mandate one nurse for every five patients in rehabilitation units, one nurse to two patients in critical care units and one nurse for each patient in operating rooms and trauma emergency units.
    The sponsors of the Illinois legislation, State Senator Iris Martinez (D) and State Representative Mary Flowers (D), predict the ratios would result in better patient care and reduce medical errors. The proposed bills also prohibit hospitals from retaliating against nurses who refuse to accept assignments which they think compromise patient safety...
    Movement for More Nurses Fueled by Cali. Victory - The NewStandard
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Found it!

    State of Illinois
    HB2544 Introduced by Rep. Mary E. Flowers
    Creates the Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act.
    ...A hospital's staffing plan shall provide that, during each shift within a unit of the hospital, a direct care registered nurse may be assigned to not more than the following number of patients in that unit:

    (1) One patient in operating rooms and trauma emergency units.

    (2) Two patients in critical care units, including emergency critical care and intensive care units, labor and delivery units, and postanesthesia units.

    (3) Three patients in antepartum units, emergency room units, medical/surgical units, and acute care psychiatric units.

    (4) Four patients in intermediate care nursery units, medical/surgical units, pediatrics units, stepdown units, and telemetry units.

    (5) Five patients in rehabilitation units...
    Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2544
  6. by   augigi
    We got a huge influx of nurses back into the system when we got government-mandated ratios (1:4 most places). People want safe conditions.
  7. by   Mirth
    I know that IMC patients would be 1:3. That sure beats the 1:6 and 1:7 that I have now. Even 1:7 general patients beats the 1:10 and 1:11 they get.
  8. by   meownsmile
    Thanks for the links, obviously i got the wrong info. This would be a godsend where i work, on an acute med/surg unit with routinely 7 and have had as many as 12,, yes i said 12 acute care med/surg patients at variable stages of post op, pre-op, illness.

    So basically i have to decide if i want to do TPC on 4 patients or take more on my patient load and have others (LPN's and CNA's) to help.
    I really dont see facilities hiring CNA's and LPN's if they have to allow for more RN's in the budget. And if you have 4 patients, but with double rooms you actually have say 8 beds total, are they going to call someone in to care for those patients they are assigning to your empty beds?
    I think on the surface this looks great, but i also think there are quite a few things that are left unaddressed.
    Ill have to go read the bill, but i wonder if there shouldnt be some other safeguards written in.
  9. by   nurseangel47
    Where's the NC nurses' gumption, guys? Let's band together and get something, anything similar to these guidelines/laws in place in the great tarheel state!
  10. by   EdBSN09
    Does anybody know the current status of this? As of 3/10/2005, the bill was "re-referred to the rules committee." (See Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB2544 )

    What does this mean? Has the bill been dropped? Or is it just tied up in the hopelessly endless political process?

    I think legislation like this is desperately needed. Hospitals claim it won't bring one additional nurse to the bedside. I doubt that's true. But I'd sure like to see hospitals try to meet these ratios. And I know they won't do it unless they're forced to.

  11. by   EdBSN09
    Update: I was able to find out some more information myself. The bill is now called HB2548, and was again referred to the "rules committee" back in March of 2006. A full and complete text version is available here: Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2548

    You can check its status here: Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB2544

    I agree with the OP: write your congressmen and congresswomen. Let's get this done!

  12. by   Mirth
    This comes up again in Janurary. I know I will be in Springfield, asking John Sullivan about it.
  13. by   rUmad2
    I work at a small rural hospital. Our census on the med-surg floor can fluctuate anywhere from 8 to 30 patients. Our OB department can go from zero to 4 mom/babies and a couple antepartums in nothing flat. Am I in favor of this patient law? Of course--as it all comes down to safe, quality care even on those days when it all hits the fan! BUT are there any links on how small hospitals have been able to meet these ratios and financially keep their doors open? For instance, do hospitals require mandatory on call to cover a unit with 8 patients but have beds for 30? Would really appreciate some creative suggestions/options to present to those (administration) who are suggesting if this law passes, it may threaten our facility's future. We are the only hospital in a 50 mile radius and in my opinion, patients receive very good care. I love to see the required ratios met but would hate to lose our hospital and the service it provides to our area.
    Thanks for any links or suggestions!!
  14. by   traumaRUs
    If you are the only hospital in a 50 bed radius, are you considered a Critical Access Faciity?? This is a federal program that keeps the small, rural hospitals in business.

    Critical Access Hospitals Center

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