Friday, April 19, 2013

Minimum Nurse Staffing Ratios, Mentoring Programs Are Part of New Senate Bill

Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act, aimed at improving patient care and addressing the nursing shortage. 

The bill would:
  • establish minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios;
  • invest in nursing mentorship demonstration programs; and
  • provide for whistleblower protections to allow nurses to report violations of minimum standards of care without fear of reprisal.
 In a statement, Boxer said, “I am proud to introduce legislation that will help save the lives of countless patients by improving the quality of care in our nation’s hospitals. We must support the nurses who work tirelessly every day to provide the best possible care to their patients.”

Several INQRI studies (as well as numerous other studies) have established that higher nurse staffing levels improve patient outcomes, including research led by Mary Blegen and Tom Vaughn, and Linda Flynn and Dong-Churl Suh.

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