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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 25, 2017 02:00 PM
From: Representative Judy Ward
To: All House members
Subject: Safe Staffing Legislation
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation addressing the issue of safe nurse staffing in hospitals.

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.

My legislation (former House Bill 476) does not contain state legislated ratios, and instead 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.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2092