The push for nurse staffing ratios nationwide: 5 updates

Mandated nurse-to-patient ratios span the West Coast as more states have signed related legislation. Meanwhile, other states continue to consider the issue.

Here are five updates:

1. The Ohio Nurses Association joined state Reps. Haraz Ghanbari and Elgin Rogers on Sept. 27 to introduce staffing legislation. The bill would establish legally enforceable minimum staffing standards for nurses at hospitals in the state and incentivize people to go into nursing, according to a union news release. A spokesperson for the Ohio Hospital Association, which has expressed opposition to mandated approaches to nurse staffing, told Becker's the association will evaluate this potential legislation.

2. In Michigan, legislation is on the table that would require hospitals to meet nurse-patient staffing ratios, limit mandatory nurse overtime and require transparency about staffing. The Michigan Health & Hospital Association estimates 5,100 hospital beds would close if the legislation is enacted and staffing levels do not change. The Michigan Nurses Association supports the legislation.

3. Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek in August signed a minimum nurse staffing mandate for hospitals. House Bill 2697 establishes enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios in state statute for various hospital settings, as well as staffing committees for other hospital workers.

4. The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Act, which would mandate nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals, was passed in June by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. It was referred to the Pennsylvania Senate Health and Human Services Committee on July 17.

5. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in April signed legislation requiring hospitals to follow staffing standards. It does not establish specific, required patient-to-staff ratios in state law. However, if hospitals fall below 80 percent compliance with their staffing plans, they are required to report noncompliance to the state. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars