New York Bill to Mandate Minimum Nurse Staffing

new york minimum nurse staffingA bill to mandate minimum nurse staffing at New York’s 185 acute care hospitals has begun advancing in the New York State Assembly while gathering two-dozen bipartisan sponsors in the Senate led by the Health Committee chairman.

The bill would require the staffing of one nurse for every two intensive-care patients and have a 1-to-4 nursing ratio in regular medical-surgical units. Advocates predict that this will improve patient care, reduce deaths and re-admissions and keep hospitals financially intact. California has a similar mandate.

New York hospitals oppose it, saying the ratios would cost them and nursing homes about $3 billion annually, infringe on flexibility to shift staff as needed and cut some services and beds as it did in California.

The Assembly health and codes committees advanced the bill.