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Federal RN Safe Staffing Act is slow moving

Publish Date: 5/14/2014

H.R. 1821, The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act, would protect patients and improve the quality of care by requiring Medicare-participating hospitals to create committees, with at least 55% direct care nurses, to develop unit-by-unit nurse staffing plans. These hospitals would publicly report their staffing plan. H.R. 1821 was crafted with input from the ANA, and the co-chairs of the House Nursing Caucus are the sponsors.

 The bill is in line with the AORN Position Statement on Perioperative Safe Staffing and On-Call Practices as it focuses on ensuring there is appropriate nurse staffing for quality patient outcomes based on each unit’s unique needs. The Position Statement asserts, “Patient safety is the primary focus of perioperative nurses and other health care providers. One of the most important responsibilities of the perioperative RN administrator is to develop an effective staffing plan that is relevant to the individual practice setting and meets the safety needs of both patients and health care workers.”

 AORN and ANA support H.R. 1821, but unfortunately it has not moved since May 2013. Please take a moment to urge your legislators to cosponsor the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act. Then, consider participating in the ANA’s 2014 Lobby Day and Virtual Lobby Day on June 12, where you can tell Members of Congress about issues currently affecting nurses, including how staffing at your facility could be improved with passage of the RN Safe Staffing Act.


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