Michigan ANA opposes nurse-ratio bill

The American Nurses Association-Michigan released a letter opposing state legislation that would mandate patient ratios for hospital nurses.

ANA-Michigan said the proposed nurse-ratio legislation would make it difficult to safely address immediate patient needs simultaneously.

"Addressing safe staffing is a complex process that should not be handled legislatively or without the input of nurses. If that's the route, we're setting ourselves back before we can put one foot forward in the right direction," Barbara Medvec, DNP, president-elect of ANA-Michigan, said in the letter.

The association instead wants to improve workload by providing nurses with a chance to "utilize their complete expertise without the pressure of fatigue and emotional exhaustion." It cited research showing staffing levels should be individualized based on factors such as patient acuity, number of admissions and discharges, and the physical layout of the unit.

"We cannot address a long-standing problem across the continuum of care with a one-size-fits-all solution. We must come to the table together and collaboratively find solutions that meet patient and nursing needs safely and fairly," Bridget Leonard, DNP, RN, president of ANA-Michigan, said in the release.

They are the latest organization to oppose House Bill 4550 and Senate Bill 334, which would require hospitals to provide "sufficient and qualified" nursing staff at all times to ensure patient safety. In September, more than 130 hospital leaders lobbied against the bills.

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