Mandating nurse patient ratios
Mandating nurse patient ratios - who is tboz dating
Currently, 15 states (CA, CT, IL, ME, MN, NV, NY, NJ, NC, OH, OR, RI, TX, VT, and WA) plus the District of Columbia have enacted legislation or adopted regulations to address nurse staffing.
"We know 90% of our nurses support and desperately want it," he says.
One nurse for every five patients is required in medical-surgical units and one for every six in psychiatric units.
"We've been fighting for a similar bill in Massachusetts," says David Schildmeier, director of communications for the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
Hospitals primarily used RNs rather than LVNs to meet mandated levels.
It's estimated that the mandate resulted in approximately one additional half hour of nursing per adjusted patient day beyond what would have been expected without the policy.
That doesn't make sense and frankly is very difficult to adhere to," she adds.
The other problem Emerson points to is with ratios in the emergency room, where the ratio is one nurse to four patients."Hospitals do the best they can to predict how many nurses they will need during different parts of the day and staff accordingly," Emerson adds."But the rigid nature of the ratio doesn't provide any flexibility when the unexpected occurs." California's nurse-to-patient ratios, which were fully phased in by April 7, 2005, call for one nurse for every two patients in the intensive care, critical care, and neonatal intensive care units, as well as in post-anesthesia recovery, labor and delivery, and when patients in the emergency room require intensive care.In a statement on its website, ANA says that it “supports a legislative model in which nurses are empowered to create staffing plans specific to each unit.This approach aides in establishing staffing levels that are flexible and account for changes; including intensity of patient’s needs, the number of admissions, discharges and transfers during a shift, level of experience of nursing staff, layout of the unit, and availability of resources (ancillary staff, technology etc.).” Rather than mandated fixed ratios or a one-size-fits-all approach, this type of model would give hospitals the flexibility to develop staffing plans that fit their particular institutional and patient needs.A recent ANA survey of nearly 220,000 RNs reported that 54% of nurses do not have sufficient time with patients, 43% have been working extra hours because of short staffing, and 20% found that inadequate staffing affected admissions, transfers, and discharges.