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This page was last updated 07/16/09

The 109th Congress is addressing several issues that pertain to nurses, which affects the public at large, including you or someone in your family. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to state how these vital issues may result in "the life you save may be your own."

January, 2005, the `Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2005' S.71 ISIS was proposed.

This act requires hospitals to develop and maintain reliable systems to determine sufficient Registered Nurse (RN) staffing. These staffing systems would be based on input from the RNs providing direct care. This bill also reflects the American Nurse Associations (ANA) position on safe staffing.

Additionally, there is an identical bill in the House H.R. 791: Text of Legislation  

'The Prohibition of Mandatory Overtime Act'. S. 351: Text of Legislation

Nurses in some states are required to work mandatory overtime. Studies have verified that nurses working more than 12 hours a day results in a higher incidence of mistakes.

A study published last fall in the Journal of American Medical Association JAMA  found that patients in medical/surgical units with RN-to-patient staffing ratios of 1:8 were 31% more likely to die within a month than those in units with staffing ratios of 1:4. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), which inspects and rates hospitals for the quality of their care, said last year that nearly one quarter of unanticipated patient deaths and injuries over a five-year period were due to inadequate RN staffing.

Additionally, it has been proven that hospitals with adequate staffing of RNs, results in fewer mistakes, less complications, fewer medication errors, fewer infections, and a significant decrease in falls. The hospital CEOs also found that they save money when they have adequate RN staffing!

NursingWorld | State Government Relations: Staffing Plans and Ratios (12/04)

NursingWorld | State Government Relations : Mandatory Overtime (12/04)

HealthCare Benchmarks and Quality Improvement: Closer link made between nursing shortage, safety: comprehensive study, JCAHO panel say lives may be in danger   

Evidence that shows more RN vigilance, knowledge and training play an important part in saving lives–and hospital costs

National Nurse Organization Committee (NNOC)
A new organization where direct care RNs are working together to improve the quality of patient care. One of my goals is to have Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (CLNCs) work with the NNOC establishing national standards of nursing care.  Consequently, reducing medical mistakes

Please, 'spread the word,' and contact your representatives to support these bills. The life you save may be your own!

e-mail enverlope animated gifContacting the Congress  



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