Connecticut to require hospital nurse staffing committees

Beginning Oct. 1, Connecticut hospitals will be required to implement several nurse staffing measures including having organized plans on file, establishing a staffing committee and must meet certain reporting requirements or face civil penalties, according to Littler law firm's analysis of a new state law.

Gov. Ned Lamont signed the bill into law June 12, and it will affect both unionized and non-unionized hospitals. 

While staffing ratios are not specifically proposed or mandated under the new law, it will require hospitals to maintain nurse staffing plans on an annual basis and ensure the staffing committee is made up of at least 50 percent nurses. Employees involved in the staffing committee are also to be compensated for their time, according to the new law. 

Hospitals must also maintain ongoing records of three key care aspects as they relate to nursing: 

  • The number of patients per unit during each shift. 

  • The number of nurses assigned per patient during each shift. 

  • The number of medical or nursing assistants assigned to each patient.

Hospitals must comply with 80 percent of their nursing staff plans within the reporting period each year. If they fail to meet any of the new requirements outlined in the law they could face penalty fines between $3,500 and $5,000 for each offense.

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