Nurse Staffing Levels Impact Nurse Retention, Nurse Recruitment and Patient Satisfaction

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 21st, 2014

American Nurses Association supported the introduction of federal legislation in the U.S. Senate that empowers registered nurses to drive staffing decisions in hospitals, protect patients and improve the quality of care. This legislation would positively impact nurse retention, nurse recruitment and patient satisfaction.

The Regisnurse staffing levelstered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2014 (S. 2353), crafted with input from ANA, is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). ANA supports a companion staffing bill introduced in the House in May 2013, the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2013 (H.R. 1821).

According to ANA, research has shown that higher staffing levels by experienced RNs are linked to lower rates of patient falls, infections, medication errors and even death.

The bill would require hospitals to establish committees to create unit-by-unit nurse staffing plans based on multiple factors, such as the number of patients on the unit, severity of the patients’ conditions, experience and skill level of the RNs, availability of support staff, and technological resources.

Research proves that nurse staffing levels impact nurse retention and patient satisfaction.

To learn more ways to improve patient care and outcomes and increase nurse retention and nurse recruitment, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to customize this program for your staff.

2 responses to “Nurse Staffing Levels Impact Nurse Retention, Nurse Recruitment and Patient Satisfaction”

  1. Good morning,
    Will the bill monitor the hospitals after they require them to establish committees to create unit by unit nurse staffing.

  2. Katy Roemer says:

    This legislation is misleading and dangerous. The studies linking higher staffing levels by experienced RNs to lower rates of patient falls, infections and even death are mostly based on comparing the patients in California who enjoy mandated nurse to patient ratios including use of a patient classification system based on severity of illness, complexity of care and use of specialized equipment to patients in other states who do not have mandated nurse to patient ratios. If ratios are not mandated (and nurses are a part of a ‘committee’ that is supposed to have a voice in patient staffing), then historically, the hospital bottom line still rules and nurses are stuck with more patients than can be cared for safely. Legislation that mandates safe nurse to patient ratios has been proven to save lives and improve outcomes in multiple studies. The legislation that you cite is not the solution for safe staffing. Talk to nurses in California (especially those of us who practiced prior to the implementation of the ratio law), the ratio law completely changed our ability to safely care for our patients and we would not practice anywhere that did not have mandated ratios.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *