Illinois lawmakers introduce bill requiring mandatory nurse staffing ratios in hospitals

Illinois lawmakers have proposed legislation that would set a maximum number of patients that may be assigned to registered nurses in hospitals, according to dual ABC/MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station WQAD.

The Safe Patient Limits Act was introduced in the state General Assembly and is backed by the National Nurses United union in Illinois as well as the Illinois Nurses Association.

The act stipulates that a nurse cannot be assigned more than a certain number of patients at one time, depending on the nurse's floor and unit, according to the report.

"It'll give them that opportunity to slow down, pay closer attention, make sure that things aren't being missed," Dawn Boettcher, Eastern Iowa Community College's associate dean of health programs and a nurse, told WQAD.

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association opposes the bill, arguing that mandated nurse staffing ratios will "create real barriers to hospitals and health systems" and "threaten financially struggling hospitals."

The bill is currently in committee.


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