Since California’s implementation of legislation setting minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in 2004, the issue of nurse staffing has been slowly but surely creeping its way into other states’ legislation, attempts at federal legislation, and of course, into more union contracts.
When it comes to requirements for hospital staffing ratios, federal regulations provide only that hospitals participating in Medicare have “adequate numbers” of nurses and other personnel to provide nursing care. But some states have ...
By Amy J. Traub and Ian Gabriel Nanos
A new law in Massachusetts prohibits hospitals from requiring nursing staff to work mandatory overtime under most circumstances. The law, which will go into effect in 90 days, has strong support from the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United. Citing increased chances for costly mistakes and the dangers to patients associated with mandatory overtime, representatives of the Nurses Association applauded the measure, stating that it will protect patients and ensure safe, quality patient care, while saving money.
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