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.