I would like to thank Allnurses for sharing the voice of Illinois nurses - and my colleagues hard work putting the survey information into a document that tells the real story of nurse staffing in Illinois after 11 years of a toothless law. Laws must be specific and enforceable in regulation. As a staff nurse participant in creating the 2008 Nurse Staffing by Patient Acuity law in Illinois it became obvious the health care industry and Directors of Nursing in hospitals had no intention of implementing Nurse Staffing Committee recommendations. Without any recourse to enforce Staffing Committee recommendations it became an illusion of inclusion for the direct care staff nurse. Currently in Illinois - there are no limits on how many patients a nurse can care for on any shift.
If legislation fails, you learn from it gleaning what needs to be amended and build improved language! That is what HB 2604 has proposed. So similar is the political process to finding remedy in legislation as our nursing process to achieving optimal patient outcomes. Nurses are the experts and must share failed work environments contributed by inadequate nurse staffing.
Today's nurse work environments are built by cutting costs - not designed to produce optimized patient care that nurses learn in school aligned with standards of evidence based practices. Nurses must share such deficits AND THE REMEDY of HB 2604 with their legislators. Nurses outnumber any other healthcare professional. Nurses as constituents must communicate to state legislators the value of adequate nurse staffing and its impact on improving patient care, including the overall costs savings of safe patient care found with adequate nurse staffing.
Nurses never stop learning how to best care and advocate for their patients. Nurse constituent political advocacy IS patient advocacy. Locate your Illinois state House of Representative and state Senator https://www.illinoispolicy.org/maps/ Educate them on the preventable patient injury/death/delayed recovery of inadequate nurse staffing and encourage them to vote yes to the legislative remedy in House Bill 2604. Read the full text of HB 2604 at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2604&GAID=15&GA=101&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=118738&SessionID=108
Nurses are the most trusted healthcare professional in the USA. Make your voice heard, use the political process to affect change that will protect the public in Illinois. Pam Robbins MSN, RN