Nurse Staffing Ratios Increase Pressure Ulcers, Infection Rates And Mortality

Nurse Staffing Ratios Increase Pressure Ulcers, Infection Rates And Mortality

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Nurse staffing ratios have shown a decrease in length of stay within the hospital setting (American Nurses Association, (2015). Research continues to determine if staffing ratios also decrease pressure ulcers, infection rates and mortality. According to one research article the difference between life and death within a medical/surgical unit with a staffing ratio of four patients to one registered nurse may mean a thousand more lives saved annually (Shekelle 2013). Several states have enacted laws that require hospitals to develop staffing plans either through, staffing committees, core staffing plans or hospital reported staffing ratios that is disclosed to the public yearly (American Nurses Association, 2015).
The state of Nevada recently developed a staffing law SB361 that passed through the state senate and was approved. However, this year SB361 has been brought back to legislature for rewording and setting up safer staffing ratios based on acuity. Currently, hospitals that contain more than seventy beds are required to obtain staffing committees to determine the appropriateness of staffing ratios. These committees consist of nurses, certified nursing assistants, and licensed practicing nurses or collective bargaining units to collaborate with management and develop safe staffing ratios. Prior to this legislative session, several key indicators were removed and the bill was essentially rewritten to meet the hospitals needs and not the public (Mesquite Citizen Journal, 2013). Contained within this discussion will be a recommendation as to the appropriate wording to correctly identify staffing ratios based on the acuity of the patient population to protect patients contained by all healthcare facilities within the state of Neva...


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...the public to read. This would assure them that each and every patient within the facility would be taken care of appropriately.
In Conclusion changing bill SB361 to smaller staffing ratios and basing the ratios on acuity of the patient population will improve outcomes for patient by saving an estimated one thousand lives per year on a medical surgical unit. According to the ANA they do not support specific ratio numbers therefore acuity, and hospital environment will need to be taken into account when discussing the verbiage change with key stake holders. Dr. Joe Hardy is leading the way in Nevada to improve patient outcomes. He continues his medical practice in Reno when the house in not in secession. He has been an instrumental player in the medical field and advocating for changes in the state of Nevada. This author knows him personally and also voted for him.

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