Mandating nurse staffing ratios

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Executive Michael Brookshire, a partner in consulting firm Bain & Co., states in an interview with Modern Health “There are ways to deliver very high quality care with lean staffing levels.” As evidenced by his profile on Linked In, Michael Brookshire is not a nurse.

Nor does he have any experience working in a hospital. Aiken’s extensive research on nurse staffing ratios.

Even Pamela Cipriano president of the American Nurses Association is quoted as saying in a statement “The rigid, one-size-fits-all approach proposed by the ballot initiative failed to acknowledge the complexities of staffing and undermined nurses’ professional autonomy and decision making in determining staffing on their units.” There is much argument that with strict mandates there is steep fiscal costs and hospital administrators would not be able to have the authority to make changes.

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I remember thinking nursing school had never prepared me to take care of thirteen patients! This memory popped into my mind on November 6, 2018 as the Massachusetts nurse ratio ballot was stricken down.

February 26, 2019 OPPOSE MANDATORY NURSE STAFFING RATIOS LEGISLATION Several bills have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly requiring mandatory nurse staffing ratios in hospitals – House Bills 26 and Senate Bills 650 (still to be amended) and 1908.

Similar to bills proposed but rejected by state legislators over the past 15 years, these bills would impose strict patient to registered nurse ratios in the emergency department and every care and surgical unit of a hospital, ranging from 1:1 to 6:1.

A study by Mc Hugh et al in 2011, found this not to be true.

Aikin also published a study in 2002 where she found that in hospitals with high nurse patient ratios surgical patients experienced higher risk for mortality. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has also acknowledged the link between nurse staffing ratios and patient safety.

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