For Immediate Release: March 12, 2015
For Contact: Jeanne Otersen (201) 262-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org
Large majorities of NJ voters agree that nurses know best when it comes to patient care and staffing levels in hospitals, and they put their trust in nurses’ views on healthcare policy and the need for improved staffing.
A public poll commissioned by NJ’s largest nursing union, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), shows that 73% of voters support a “law that would set a maximum number of patients each nurse could be required to care for” and 81% want the NJ Department of Health to be required to conduct annual inspections of NJ hospitals. 77% of voters also strongly agree setting nurse staffing levels in hospitals would improve the quality of health care in New Jersey.
HPAE and other health care groups are lobbying for a law to set limits on the number of patients assigned to each nurse in hospitals and ambulatory care centers (S1183-Vitale/A647-Moriarty), and are also advocating for a return to routine hospital inspections by the NJ Department of Health. The legislation would set nurse-to-patient standards for each hospital unit, with nurse input, allowing flexibility to increase staffing based on patient needs.
“Nurses know unsafe staffing levels will put quality healthcare at risk and it turns out, patients know that too. That’s why we are fighting for a safe staffing law, so every patient gets the care they need, when they need it,” said Ann Twomey, president of HPAE. “The best formula for patient safety is pretty simple – listen to your nurses.”