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Nurse Safe Staffing Essay

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Mandating safe staffing levels for registered nurses in acute care settings has been an important topic of discussion for many years. As the demand for registered nurses continues to rise, so does the clinical demands on the nurses currently working. If there are no specific policies in place that mandate safe and appropriate nurse-to-patient ratios for all acute care facilities, registered nurses (RNs) may be required to take on even more patients than the already high numbers currently given to many of them. Inadequate RN staffing has the potential to cause increases in adverse patient events (American Nurses Association (ANA), The registered nurse safe staffing act, 2015) as well as an increase in nurse injury (Musick, Trotto, & Morrison,…show more content…
According to Mason, D.J., Gardner, D.B., Outlaw, F.H., & O’Grady, E.T. (2016), some of these factors include “the expertise of the nursing staff, availability of supportive personnel and other health professionals, good communication among the care team, and the nurse/patient ratio” (p. 516). Growing concern in the 1990s over the potential effects of the changes in nursing staff levels along with an increase in nursing union influence paved the way for the state of California to become the first state to pass legislation regarding minimum staffing levels for nurses in hospitals via the California Assembly Bill (AB) 394. The legislation, enacted in 1999, was applicable to both RNs and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). In the early 2000s, research began to show a consistent relationship between the quality of care that patients received and the number of licensed nurses providing care (Mason, et al., 2016). Multiple other states have passed legislation regarding this policy issue as well; for example, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Washington have all enacted legislation associated with safe nurse staffing levels (Emergency Nurses Association, 2014). There have also been multiple bills introduced to Congress on the federal level regarding this policy issue as well; for example, the Registered
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