You Have a Nation of Nurses Behind You (fixing nurse to patient ratio) | NURSING.com
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What are the Bills?
HR 1602 – view the bill HERE
S. 864 – view the bill HERE
How Can You Get “Involved”?
Listen to this podcast episode here with Senator O’Donnell
It’s really as simple as:
- Google “who is my congressman”
- Call the number
- Tell them to support the two bills above
There is also more that you can do listed below.
Most Trusted Profession
For the past 14 years, nurses have been rated as the most trusted profession.
Think about that . . . as nurses we are more trusted than:
Considering, as nurses, we are also one of the largest workforce groups in America, it seems . . . crazy . . . that our responsibilities, charting, patient ratios continue to go up while training continues to decline.
What are Nurse to Patient Ratios?
Basically what this refers to is number of patients any one nurse can take care of during a shift.
Depending on the type of unit you work on this can vary, as it should, as a nurse in a Pediatric ICU will not be able to provide safe care to as many patients as a nurse on a geriatric unit.
But here is where it gets . . . crazy.
There are no federally mandated nurse-to-patient ratios.
What does this mean?
It means that while hospitals and Boards of Nursing can “suggest” “safe” ratios . . . in the end, the hospital can give you as many patients as they want when you show up to work. Or, they can keep giving you new admissions during you shift.
The issue has gotten so bad and become so ingrained in nursing culture that many nurses accept it as a “part of the job”. In fact, GomerBlog recently release a satirical post regarding a fictions hospital CEO who raised Patient:Nurse ratios to 10:1 and the social media world exploded as many nurses accepted it as reality.
Let's put an end to short staffing @smysofficial Patient safety first #safestaffing #NursesTakeDC pic.twitter.com/kf2jecrik1
— Nurse Born Products (@NurseBorn) April 18, 2016
What Does the Research Say?
Research study after research study has indicated the dangers in poor staffing:
Research has shown that by reducing the number of nurses, patient outcomes deteriorate and length of stay increases. Curtailing nurse staffing levels can also lead to poor staff morale, nurse retention and recruitment problems and malpractice suits, which can raise costs far above the expense of employing more nurses. By reducing nurse to patient ratios, that is, by reducing the number of patients (see nurse to patient ratio box opposite), it is probable that patient care will improve along with patient satisfaction, poor morale will dissipate, fewer lawsuits will be filed and agency nurse use will decrease, all of which will help to reduce hospital costs in the long term.
In hospitals with high patient-to-nurse ratios, surgical patients experience higher risk-adjusted 30-day mortality and failure-to-rescue rates, and nurses are more likely to experience burnout and job dissatisfaction.
As a patient safety intervention, patient-to-nurse ratios of 4:1 are reasonably cost-effective and in the range of other commonly accepted interventions.
How to Get Involved
We are all in this together . . .
As we unite as a voice of nurses we can affect great change.
Here are ways that you can get involved in improving patient ratios throughout the country.
National Rally For Nurse to Patient Ratios
When: May 12, 2016
Where: Washington DC
Information for the event can be found on Facebook HERE
The event is being put on by:
- Nurses for National Patient Ratios
- A Voice for Nurses Now
- Show me Your Stethoscope
There will be several speakers and others that you can connect with at the event including:
- Kelsey Rowell RN,
- Andrew Lopez, RN, CEO of NurseFriendly;
- Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, executive director of The Truth About Nursing;
- Janie Garner, RN, founder and executive director of SMYS.
- Caroline Thomas, RN
NRSNG is in full support of the event and pushing for the bills to pass.
If you are able to attend the event . . . GO!
If not . . . go to the event page and see if there is a local event in your state.
Show Me Your Stethoscope
Show Me Your Stethoscope (SMYS for short) is a group of over 700,000 nurses and nursing students interested in creating positive change in nursing.
You can join the discussion HERE.
I would invite you to join and take part in the discussion. Prior to joining I already had 15 friends that were a part of the group.
It is truly amazing what nurses can do when we work together.
Do me a favor . . . head over to Twitter or Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #NursesTakeDC
Let’s be agents of change.
At the risk of sounding sappy . . . the future of nursing is in our hands.
Together we can create a beautiful future. I would love for you to take part in this movement with us.