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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2014 02:45 PM
From: Representative Mauree Gingrich
To: All House members
Subject: Nurse Safe Staffing Legislation
In the near future, I will be introducing Safe Staffing legislation (Former HB 1631) which does not contain state legislated ratios. Proper nurse staffing is crucial to the safety and quality of nursing care delivered in our healthcare facilities. Studies show that appropriate staffing levels contribute to better patient outcomes, improved satisfaction among nurses and a decrease in healthcare costs.

I invite you to co-sponsor legislation amending the Healthcare Facilities Act that calls upon general or specialty hospitals to establish and develop nurse staffing standards within their facilities.

This legislation addresses this issue by establishing professional nurse staffing committees through collaborative efforts of the bedside nurses and hospital administration. This will allow for an individualized plan based on the unique characteristics of each patient unit, the patient’s level of illness, skill mix of staff, and the technology and services available to the bedside nurse.

Every day in hospitals across Pennsylvania staffing activities bring nurses and their patients together for the delivery of care. Even before the support of technology and research, the constant has been the decision making abilities of the professional nurse. Allowing bedside nurses to be a part of nurse staffing decisions and having the opportunity to use their expertise is in the best interests of patients, the care team and the hospital.

With the changing healthcare environment involving direct care nurses and other members of the staff in decisions related to staffing assures that patient needs and staff competencies are appropriately matched, yielding better results for patients and staff alike.

I would be pleased to have you join me in cosponsoring this beneficial legislation.

Introduced as HB476