NY nurses urge lawmakers to pass staffing legislation: 7 things to know

Nurses in New York state are calling on state lawmakers to pass a rule that would set minimum staffing levels for hospitals and nursing homes, according to an Associated Press report published by Crain's New York Business.

Here are seven things to know about the issue.

1. Under the proposed legislation, operating rooms and trauma emergency units would have one nurse for each patient, while emergency rooms and newborn units would have one nurse for three patients. Rehabilitation units would have one nurse for every five patients.

2. Nurses contend the mandate would improve patient outcomes by addressing what they deem as a chronic staffing problem, according to the report.

3. But hospital executives, the report states, believe such legislation would result in increased healthcare costs for patients, and that state legislators should not limit hospitals by dictating unnecessary and inflexible rules.

4. Specifically, hospitals and nursing homes estimate the proposed staffing legislation would add about $3 billion annually in costs statewide, Dennis Whalen, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, which represents hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, said in the report.  

5. This is not the first time such a staffing proposal has been debated in New York. The proposal has in fact been debated there for years, but this time around, the proposal has bipartisan support from state lawmakers, according to the report.

6. Nurses are expected to gather Feb. 9 in Albany, N.Y., to push for the bill.

7. If this staffing legislation is passed in New York, it would make it the second state to do so. Currently, California is the only state that has implemented such a staffing mandate.


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Kindred Hospital Westminster nurses ratify contract: 3 things to know
Hospitals add nearly 24k jobs in January
NLRB supports RNs fired after attempting unionization: 5 things to know

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