N.J. needs to limit the number of patients a nurse has – Editorial

By Times of Trenton Editorial Board
July 25, 2018

Spend any time in a hospital and you soon come to realize that nurses are the true heroes of the place, and not just because they bring you an extra pillow or deliver much-needed pain meds.

Nurses do more, much more. They stand guard against the risk of infections, dangerous falls and the probability of your being readmitted to the hospital once you go home.

But what if there aren’t enough nurses on your floor to do the job properly?

What if the hospital you’ve landed up in is short-staffed, creating undue demands on the nurses on duty and creating unnecessary risks for the patients who so urgently need their practiced hands?

A bill introduced in the state Senate earlier this year aims to avert such a crisis by establishing a safe limit on the number of patients one nurse can care for in a hospital, ambulatory surgical facility, developmental center and psychiatric hospital.

The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-19th District), addresses the reality that hospitals all too frequently sacrifice patients’ health for their own bottom lines.

The American Nurses Association sums up the dangers in a blog dedicated to political action and advocacy.

Read more here.