Code Red: Understaffed. Overworked. Unsafe for everyone.
The urgent need for Safe Staffing legislation in New Jersey.
Understaffing is driving our healthcare system to the brink of collapse.That is why HPAE, New Jersey’s largest union of healthcare workers,is pushing the state legislature to pass a law in Trenton this year mandating enforceable staffing ratios.
The problem is clear – frontline healthcare workers continue to migrate out of bedside nursing at an alarming rate because of untenable working conditions. Driven in large part by working shorthanded, this unsafe work environment has led to tremendous burnout in the profession as many more leave healthcare due to stress. And when healthcare workers suffer – the unavoidable result is patient care suffers.
If we do not come up with multifaceted programsto solve thisissue, with a focus on both recruitment and retention- including safe staffing legislation, there will be dire consequences on the delivery of care for all New Jerseyans. Most certainly we must recruit new nurses into the field to help alleviate the critical shortage, but this is not enough. We must also provide incentives to not only lure back nurses who have left the field, but also to retain nurses who remain at the bedside. We must stop the current migration out of the field.
Download the full paper below.