By Christine Haines, Herald-Standard
Even when hospital administrators say they are fully staffed, nurses on the floor often say they need more help.
"It's been an age-old dilemma, the difference in thinking between the administration and the floor nurses," said Michele Campbell, executive director of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association (PNA). "The critical issue that brought it to the attention of everyone was hospitals not being able to fill shifts, but floor nurses have always felt they were understaffed."
An international study conducted in 2001 by the University of Pennsylvania involving 43,329 registered nursed in 711 hospitals in five countries supports the anecdotal reports of the shortage. Two-thirds of the nurses surveyed said there are insufficient nurses in their hospitals to provide adequate quality care to the patients.
Campbell said that medical care requires more nurses today than ever.
"The technology is more advanced and the drugs are more complicated. ...It's no longer reasonable for one nurse to be taking care of eight, 10, or 12 patients on the off-shifts," Campbell said.
No states have staffing ratio regulations, she said, and while some nursing unions have been calling for minimum staffing ratios, the PNA is not.
"We are not supporting numbers in legislation because then you establish ceilings. We do believe that each institution should establish staffing ratios for individual departments. It needs to be flexible," Campbell said.
Campbell said certifying agencies set some regulations on staffing, but no general staffing guidelines are mandated.
Full Story: http://www.heraldstandard.com/site/n...d=480247&rfi=6
Apr 3, '05
Quote from brian
michele campbell, executive director of the pennsylvania nurses association (pna).
no states have staffing ratio regulations, she said, and while some nursing unions have been calling for minimum staffing ratios, the pna is not.
"we are not supporting numbers in legislation because then you establish ceilingswe do believe that each institution should establish staffing ratios for individual departments. it needs to be flexible," campbell said.
we hear the above "reason" for opposition to minimum staffing ratios by so-called nurse leaders with such frequency, i am afraid that it might escape scrutiny. simply put, the argument is moronic on its face.
as we all know, hospital organizations oppose minimum staffing ratio regulations because they believe (with good reason) that on the whole they will have to increase staffing levels and hiring beyond current levels. they complain that there are not enough available nurses to meet the mandated ratios, or that the associated costs will be excessive.
but in nurse leaderspeak "minimum" is apparently synonymous with "maximum". so a mandated minimum ratio actually functions as a mandated maximum ratio. a floor becomes a ceiling. black becomes white.
at least when most business sector leaders oppose proposed increases to the minimum wage, they don't couch that opposition in terms of fears that they won't be allowed to raise wages high enough.
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Apr 4, '05
: Reason: fixed quote link
Apr 4, '05
Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio, RN PhD was the organizer of the Nurses March on Washington DC, March 1995 and May 10, 1996.
Thirty-five thousand nurses marched on Washington make the public aware of the concerns nurses have for their patients.
We filled Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.
Unfortunately the media focused on the baseball strike.
NOW in California we have Safe Staffing legislation. We have ratios as the floor. Additional staff based on the needs of each individual patient based on the assessment made by a registered nurse is required. There IS no ceiling. Staffing must meet the needs of each patient.
Last edit by brian on Apr 4, '05