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Old 11-16-2007, 06:51 AM
PixelRN
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Default Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act

This Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act was introduced in the house on 11/9.

Nurses, let's not let this one slip by without taking action.

I posted about it here, and I provided some useful links to help you contact your representative.

Let your voices be heard, nurses!
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:10 AM
jojodow
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I've posted about it too.

Nurse Bloggers Unite!

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Old 11-16-2007, 01:43 PM
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We have been trying to do something similar in the UK, though so far with little success. If you are a UK nurse and want more info have a look over at Mental Nurses website for more information.
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:45 PM
MyOwnWoman
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Thanks for the link. I've already written to my Congressman and I have copied the Registered Nurse Staffing Act to post at work. I hope everyone writes to their Congressman.
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:29 PM
Polaris
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We already have a staffing bill in Oregon that requires a staffing committee made up of equal amounts management and direct care nurses.

So now they're looking at making it a federal thing? Hmmm..
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:59 PM
DisappearingJohn
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Default We're here from the government, and we're here to help you!!!

I know this is born of a valid sentiment, and even a valid need, but I still have problems with the government mandating anything that has to do with my livelyhood...

Do we really want the people who run Medicare and Medicaid telling the people who employ us how to run an efficient, safe organization?

Don't get me wrong, I know there is a problem, thank goodness I've never had to work in a situation where I felt unsafe; I just don't think this is the way to fix the problem...
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:33 AM
pat
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Default I'm Afraid I Would Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisappearingJohn View Post
I know this is born of a valid sentiment, and even a valid need, but I still have problems with the government mandating anything that has to do with my livelyhood...

Do we really want the people who run Medicare and Medicaid telling the people who employ us how to run an efficient, safe organization?

Don't get me wrong, I know there is a problem, thank goodness I've never had to work in a situation where I felt unsafe; I just don't think this is the way to fix the problem...
I couldn't agree more. The problem is that nursing is entirely too complex for congress (or more importantly nurses) to think Congress can create a fix through simple legislation. The correct law needs to put nurses in charge of using some sort of acuity tool and staff accordingly. The problem with the pending legislation (and I've looked at it and do work for a national nursing association) is that it does not consider so many variables that should be major considerations in staffing ratios: the skill/experience of the nurses, the patient demographics (age, education, etc.), acuity of patients on different floors, etc.

Let me add that the Needlemen, et. al. study published about two years ago (the most definitive study on nurse staffing and patient outcomes) showed that indeed higher RN staffing ratios resulted in better outcomes for patients. However, that same study (and you didn't see this published any where but it is in the actual researcher's report) is that higher all nursing staff results in even better outcomes. we need to make sure any fixes include a mix of the nursing care providers (RN, LPN, and Nursing techs / CNA). The plain and simple truth is that there are not enough RNs, there are not going to be enough RNs so at least give me some help to get the "tasks" of the job completed.

I just attended a seminar conducted by the National Council State Boards of Nursing (last week) on the nursing education crisis. We have this big disconnect between education and practice. The nurses that control higher education say "we don't need to teach skills to nursing students" (yes that's an exact quote from a participant), yet one of this country's leading human engineers said nursing is the most complex profession in the United States. Her research showed that on average nurses perform 180 "tasks" in an eight hour shift. I'm sure none of us find that surprising, what I do find surprising is that our profession has been led down the path for many years that only RNs can provide quality care. Listen I agree that professional nursing isn't about the "tasks" but someone has to do those tasks because the patient's cannot do it for themselves. So if we don't have enough RNs, let's use the resources we do have! And that needs to be part of any solution!!!!
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:47 PM
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I went over to read the bill - I did not see any specific ratios noted (although we have those in California) and it seems to make mention of ancillary staff:

`(1) be developed on the basis of input from the direct care-giving registered nurse staff or, where nurses are represented, with the applicable recognized or certified collective bargaining representatives of the registered nurses;

`(2) be based upon the number of patients and the level and variability of intensity of care to be provided, with appropriate consideration given to admissions, discharges and transfers during each shift;

`(3) account for contextual issues affecting staffing and the delivery of care, including architecture and geography of the environment and available technology;

`(4) reflect the level of preparation and experience of those providing care;

`(5) account for staffing level effectiveness or deficiencies in related health care classifications, including but not limited to, certified nurse assistants, licensed vocational nurses, licensed psychiatric technicians, nursing assistants, aides and orderlies;


From the looks of this it appears to give some flexibility with acuity levels. Not sure if the CA bill does the same, as the ER is staffed the same all the time and often goes out of "ratio" if too many high-acuity patients come in at once.
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