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Staffing legislation at national level: ANA-supported staffing legislation introduced in the senate.



Appropriate staffing is the number one concern of nurses today and is critical to the delivery of quality patient care. Proper staffing levels allow nurses the time they need to make patient assessments, complete nursing tasks, respond to health care emergencies, and provide the level of care that their patients deserve. It also increases nurse satisfaction and reduces staff turnover, an important priority given today's nursing shortage and the projected shortfalls in the future. In the 108th Congress Sen. Daniel Inouye Daniel Ken Inouye (born September 7 1924) is a recipient of the Medal of Honor and currently serves as the senior United States Senator from Hawaii. He has been a senator for over forty years, since 1963, a distinction that few senators have achieved, and is currently the third  (D-HI) and Rep. Lois Capps Lois Grimsrud Capps (born January 10 1938), an American politician, has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1998, representing the 23rd District of California (District map), which was numbered as the 22nd District prior to the 2000 round of  (D-CA) worked with ANA to develop and introduce legislation to ensure adequate registered nurse (RN) staffing in health care facilities in response to the current nursing crisis. On January 4 of this year, Senator Inouye reintroduced this important legislation, the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2007 (S. 73). The introduction of a companion bill in the House is expected soon.

S. 73 would mandate the development of staffing systems in hospitals aimed at ending the widespread practice of health care facilities stretching their nursing staff with unsafe patient loads, mandatory overtime, "floating" to specialty units without training and orientation, and other practices that undermine the delivery of safe, quality care. The bill also amends AMENDS. A satisfaction, given by a wrong doer to the party injured for a wrong committed. 1 Lilly's Reg. 81.
     2. By statute 24 Geo. II. c. 44, in England, and by similar statutes in some of the United States, justices of the peace, upon being notified of an
 the conditions of participation for hospitals in the Medicare program and establishes a requirement for minimum staffing ratios. Rather than establishing a specific numeric numeric

see numerical.


numeric cluster
see ten-key pad.
 ratio, the act requires the establishment of a staffing system that "ensures a number of registered nurses on each shift and in each unit of the hospital to provide for appropriate staffing levels for patient care.

"This is not a "one size fits all" approach to staffing. Instead, S. 73 ensures that nurse staffing can be tailored to the specific needs of each unit, based on factors including how sick the patient is, the experience of the nursing staff, available technology, and the support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services  available to the nurses. Most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially
, this approach treats nurses as professionals and empowers them at last to have a decision-making role in the care they provide.

Specifically the staffing system must:

* Be created with input from direct-care RNs or their designate representative;

* Be based on the number of patients and level of intensity of care to be provided, with consideration given to patient admissions, discharges and transfers on each shift;

* Reflect the level of preparation and experience of those providing care;

* Reflect staffing levels recommended by specialty nursing organizations; and

* Provide that an RN not be forced to work in a particular unit without having first established that he or she is able to provide professional care such a unit.

Another key provision of the bill is the requirement of public reporting of staffing information. Under the legislation, hospitals would be required to post daily the number of licensed and unlicensed staff providing direct patient care on each unit and each shift, while specifically noting the number of RNs.

Finally, the bill provides whistle-blower whis·tle·blow·er or whis·tle-blow·er or whistle blower  
n.
One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority: "The Pentagon's most famous whistleblower is . .
 protections for RNs and others who may file a complaint regarding staffing. The bill establishes procedures for receiving and investigating complaints, and creates enforcement mechanisms, including civil monetary penalties, that can be imposed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Noun 1. Secretary of Health and Human Services - the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Health and Human Services; "the first Secretary of Health and Human Services was Patricia Roberts Harris who was appointed by Carter"  for each knowing violation.

The American Nurses Association American Nurses Association,
n.pr professional organization of registered nurses created to encourage high standards in nursing care, pro-mote nursing as a profession, and lobby Congress for issues of concern to nurses.
 will make passage of this staffing legislation a top priority. Please contact your Senators and to urge them to cosponsor co·spon·sor  
tr.v. co·spon·sored, co·spon·sor·ing, co·spon·sors
To function in the capacity of a joint sponsor of: corporations that cosponsored a marathon.

n.
 S. 73 "The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2007."

Editors comments:

This concepts seems right on target with the first goal appropriate safe staffing mix (Education, skills, experience of nurse in relationship to patient mix), then appropriate staffing ratios to achieve quality nursing care. The problem is how to attain and enforce. I am not sure how a minimum ratio will work since there are so many issues that must be considered: acuity acuity /acu·i·ty/ (ah-ku´i-te) clarity or clearness, especially of vision.

a·cu·i·ty
n.
Sharpness, clearness, and distinctness of perception or vision.
 of each patient, experience of each nurse, the demands of the entire unit, ancillary help (their experience).

Any ideas out there.? Wish there was an easy solution. That is what the legislators want to hear

Betty Razor

A further thought. The federal government already mandates hours of nursing time per day for nursing homes that accept Medicare/Medicaid. They will not raise those minimums because it will force the government to reimburse re·im·burse  
tr.v. re·im·bursed, re·im·burs·ing, re·im·burs·es
1. To repay (money spent); refund.

2. To pay back or compensate (another party) for money spent or losses incurred.
 at a higher rate.

Nancy Menzel
COPYRIGHT 2007 Nevada Nurses Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ANA Updates/News; American Nurses Association
Author:Artz, Michelle
Publication:Nevada RNformation
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2007
Words:706
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