Another round: Massachusetts union tries again on nurse staffing ratios

The Massachusetts Nurses Association will reviving its push for mandatory nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in the state after a failed attempt  last fall, according to the Boston Business Journal.

The union is supporting legislation that would pave the way for such limits. The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Diana DiZoglio and state Rep. Dan Ryan, would call for the state public health department and Health Policy Commission to hire an independent researcher to study staffing and other nursing issues, according to the Journal. That research would then be used by lawmakers to determine staffing needs for Massachusetts.

"If these studies determine there is a best practice limit on the number of patients a nurse should care for at one time, that should inform future policy discussions," union spokesperson Joe Markman told the Journal.

Last year, the union called for nurse-to-patient staffing ratios ranging from 1-to-1 to 1-to-6 based on different situations. After months of debate, the legislative initiative failed during the 2018 midterm elections in November.

The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, an opponent of last year's ballot effort, told the Journal that the most recent proposal simply revisits last year's.


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