TEXAS BNE POSITION STATEMENT 15:26 "Nurse Working Hours"

  1. mad as hell: nursing position statement: 15:26
    on april 19-20th the future of nursing as we now know it may change forever because of a select few who sit on the texas board of nurse examiners. they will dictate to the nursing profession how many hours we can safely work in a day and stipulate how many days we can work consecutively, and weekly. the silent majority must raise their voices and be heard. in a time when the nursing shortage is widening (over a million vacancies expected by 2012), the average nurse is 50 years old and close to retirement. fewer young workers are entering the profession to fill their places. nursing schools can't get enough faculty to accommodate students. the u.s. bureau of labor statistics estimates that as a result of demand for nurses, nursing will be the fastest growing industry nationwide for the next five years. mandating working hours will put undue strain on our already overburdened health care system. we presently can't appropriately staff our facilities. forcing nurses to work less is putting patients at risk, the very opposite of what your proposition proposes with no solutions in sight. we need leadership with vision not knee jerk reactionist. i'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. i will be in austin april 18th at the public hearing to defend our right of self determination for our profession and future nurses.

    on april 18th i will be in austin to defend my right to work as a nurse. i believe this position statement to be detrimental to the nursing profession. i have written an editorial and sent it to the houston chronicle (see above).
    i will represent my colleages and i want to be able to send a message to our staff that can't make it to austin, that i will be their voice. there is strength in numbers. it would be great to go to the public hearing and tell them that i have 300 nurses against the proposition. i need your support and guidance in this endeavor. a dedicated and proud texas rn.
    fossil78
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    About fossil78

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 10
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    11 Comments

  3. by   CRNI-ICU20
    who's lining their pockets I wonder....the BON?
    There has to be something or someone that is generating this in them...
    Hosp. management?
    No other profession has mandated overtime....nowhere...
    do you see bankers telling other bankers they have to work sundays, til 10pm??? NOT!
    Airline pilots are not allowed to work past a certain number of hours....truck drivers are not allowed to work past a certain number of hours....EVEN ASTRONAUGHTS are required to sleep regular sleep cycles and not work over given times...
    The way to fight this is to let the public know that the BON is pushing for their loved ones who lay sick in a hospital bed to be placed at risk because the BON feels nurses should work mandatory overtime....
    When the public starts to mount an outrage....this maybe re-thought...
    When legislators realize that THEIR own loved ones or themselves are at risk when being taken care of by a tired overworked RN, they may decide to vote NO!
    I am behind you....and you have my support...
    I testified for the Oregon Nurses Assoc. a few years back for similar issues...and they were not passed.
    Good luck to you all.
  4. by   JWRN
    Actually, health care worker fatigue will probably be a National Patient Safety Goal for 2008 and facilities will be required to show what they have done to help prevent errors caused by RN's that have worked too many hours and more proned to making mistakes. Medical residents already have a limit of 80 hours a week maximum. I know at my facilities we are working on a policy to make 80 hours a week the maximum number of hours RN's can work, will also include PCT's, RT's, and others. Manny healthcare workers work 2 jobs, I know some PCT's who work doubles 3P-7A 3-4 days a week. 80 hours is a lot in 1 week. That would be 5- 16 hour shifts in a week, that is too many in my opinion. The nurse in Wisconsin ( I think ) worked 20 hours to help the short staffing issue in the hospital, she ended up making a fatal error due in part to fatigue. Evidence and research show that limiting work hours increases patient safety. I am in favor of increasing patient safety. Just my thoughts...
    Last edit by JWRN on Apr 16, '07
  5. by   fossil78
    I appreciate all the views that have been generated by the BNE position statement. I will be in Austin to give my opinion on Wednesday April 18th. It will be an interesting day. I hope the nurses get out and give their view, whatever their position. fossil 78
  6. by   CSLee3
    FOSILL78....please keep us updated...and Thank you for going to AUSTIN for us;:spin: that work hard at more than one job, to support our family!!!
    ERDude
  7. by   fossil78
    Went to Austin, Texas to present my view along with about 100 other nurses from all around the state. Nurses also came from Flordia and California. They allowed each speaker 3 minutes to present their view.
    11,750 people answered the on-line nursing survey 92% opposed the position statement. 182 people responded via fax/e-mail/letters 162 against
    20 for the proposition 76% RN 18% LVN 6% APN. Approximately 40 people spoke at the meeting 2 for the prop. 38 against. The board said that they would take the proposition back to committee. The board seemed pretty responsive to our concerns...hopefully they will act accordingly. After that meeting i came away with the feeling that if we stick together we can accomplish anything.. This was a proud day for Texas Nurses. We must remain focused... Make no mistake... This issue will be back...Maybe a Joint Commission standard.. Thanks for letting me express my view..
    fossil 78
  8. by   Retired R.N.
    Has anyone ever considered that having to work excessive hours is one of the chief causes of the so-called nursing shortage? When an employer can demand mandatory overtime, and the nurses have no union to defend their right to a healthy lifestyle with time for adequate sleep, you should be thanking the BNE for their attempts to promote good patient care!

    Just wait until you are an older nurse who gets laid off because (s)he is no longer able to put in those ridiculous hours. Or, wait until you are the victim of an automobile accident because a severely sleep-deprived nurse ran into you on her way home from work.

    Where is some evidence of the critical thinking that is supposed to be a part of the modern nurse's education?
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Retired R.N.
    Has anyone ever considered that having to work excessive hours is one of the chief causes of the so-called nursing shortage? When an employer can demand mandatory overtime, and the nurses have no union to defend their right to a healthy lifestyle with time for adequate sleep, you should be thanking the BNE for their attempts to promote good patient care!

    Just wait until you are an older nurse who gets laid off because (s)he is no longer able to put in those ridiculous hours. Or, wait until you are the victim of an automobile accident because a severely sleep-deprived nurse ran into you on her way home from work.

    Where is some evidence of the critical thinking that is supposed to be a part of the modern nurse's education?
    It isn't about mandatory overtime. In fact, the proposal doesn't punish hospitals AT ALL. It makes a bland statement that hospitals should consider the restrictions when they staff, but the punishment for violation falls directly on the nurse.

    Under this proposal, it wouldn't affect hospitals pushing you to work more and more at all. It would just make nurses liable and now, stuck between a rock and a hard place: somewhere between the demands of an employer and the demands of the board.

    This proposal is anything BUT nurse friendly. The board is not trying to do bedside nurses any favors. I'm sure they'll whine though, when more bedside nurses leave the bedside as a result of such preposterous proposals.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  10. by   sjt9721
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    ...In fact, the proposal doesn't punish hospitals AT ALL. It makes a bland statement that hospitals should consider the restrictions when they staff, but the punishment for violation falls directly on the nurse.

    Under this proposal, it wouldn't affect hospitals pushing you to work more and more at all. It would just make nurses liable and now, stuck between a rock and a hard place: somewhere between the demands of an employer and the demands of the board.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    I wonder if the statement could dictate punishment for the actual violators, whether they be facility or individual nurse. On one hand, you have some employers making demands for longer hours and more shifts. On the other, you have some nurses working 2-3 jobs, working 8, 10, 12 shifts in a row; and those employers have no idea or control it's happening.

    Just another iron in the fire...I also wonder how the board feels about flight nurses working 24 hour shifts. Has that been addressed at all?
    Last edit by sjt9721 on Apr 25, '07 : Reason: spelling
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from sjt9721
    Just another iron in the fire...I also wonder how the board feels about flight nurses working 24 hour shifts. Has that been addressed at all?
    TEXAS BNE sends Nursing Work Hours Proposal "Back to Committee":
    ftp://www.bne.state.tx.us/nwh-summary.pdf

    "The Board delayed taking action on the proposed position statement . . . so that consideration of feedback from nurses and the public could be considered."

    11,785 individual on-line responses, 95% of them negative towards the proposal.

    More than 200 nurses appeared before the Board in person or by written comment, 167 of them negative of the proposal.

    The quote above about flight nurses was specifically addressed: "Comments on staffing issues related primarily to special staffing plans that have evolved to meet needs for nursing coverage while also appealing to nurses for the flexibility and financial incentives offered. For example, practice areas such as surgery, cath labs, and flight nursing may offer 24-hr work/on-call schedules where staff may have "down-time" or rest periods during a 24-hr period."

    Translation: we didn't think this proposal through.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on May 6, '07
  12. by   sjt9721
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Translation: we didn't think this proposal through.

    And that, my friend, says it all!
  13. by   NurseRotten
    I know quite a few ER nurses that work 10 twelve-hour night shifts in a row with four off. What a matrix! They love it because they make about $120K because of the excessive overtime, but they also all take Provigil to battle the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation.

    I think that the intentions of the Board are good; however, the proposal needs to be re-tooled.

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