Advancing its way through the New York State Assembly and Senate and expected to pass this week, Nurse's Week, is the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act. The proposed law enjoys bipartisan support to place new nursing care requirements on hospitals and nursing homes. Supported by 1199EISU and the NYSNA, it would mandate, among many other things, a minimum of 3.5 hours of nursing care per day per nursing home resident. California adopted such a provision in its laws in 2019. In 2020, NIH published a study from NCBI on patient outcomes concluding such nursing care is necessary. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7328494/
Hospitals would also be required to achieve nurse-to-patient ratios, measured as personnel specifically trained per unit, no averaging allowed, and may only count nurses for these staffing sufficiency measures. They will not include assistive personnel.
Nursing home associations are critical of the staffing requirements on their facilities, saying the budget mandates that come with the law are onerous, especially given the current shortage in licensed nurses.
The budget mandates include requirements that nursing homes must reinvest a majority of their funds back into direct resident care.
Spokespeople from 1199EISU say those facilities that have been providing good care can expect to see everyone else is now going to have to do the same. They say those that have not been providing minimally adequate patient care, and not reinvesting profits into staffing for the benefit of patients, will no longer be allowed to do so.
The Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act (A108/S1168) will set nurse-to-patient ratios in New York healthcare facilities. A bipartisan coalition is supporting it in both the New York State Assembly and Senate.