There are no federal regulations governing the maximum number of patients RNs can attend to simultaneously. Consequently, RNs often find themselves caring for more patients than is safe, jeopardizing patient care and negatively impacting patient outcomes.

Staffing levels, among other unsafe conditions, are driving RNs away from direct patient care roles. The proposed legislation aims to enhance patient care and boost RN retention rates by establishing mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.

The bill:

  • Requires hospitals to annually develop safe staffing plans that meet the bill’s mandated minimum RN staffing ratios and provide for additional staffing based on individual patient care needs.
  • Requires hospitals to post notices on minimum ratios and maintain records on RN and other staffing.
  • Provides whistleblower protections, including administrative complaint process and cause of action, for nurses who speak out against assignments that are unsafe for the patient or nurse.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to enforce the minimum RN staffing ratios through administrative complaints and civil penalties.
  • Allows a longer implementation timeline for rural acute-care hospitals to ensure compliance.

Read the full text of the bill and contact your legislators today!