Massachusetts’s Question 1 “nurse-patient ratio” was rejected on November 6th. Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association President Steve Walsh claimed victory “to continue providing the best possible care for patients throughout Massachusetts.” Although the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) does not support mandated nurse ratios, what Walsh and many Hospital & Health Systems (HHS) fail to hear and acknowledge is that inadequate nurse staffing still exists across the nation. Forty percent of hospital nurses have burnout levels that exceed the norms for healthcare workers. Job dissatisfaction among hospital nurses is 4 times greater than the average for all U.S. workers, and 1 in 5 hospital nurses report that they intend to leave their jobs within a year.
It’s time for HHS to act by providing adequate staffing levels so that nurses can deliver the best possible care for patients. The solution begins by working with hospital administrators to address nurse staffing. Nurses welcome the conversation.
by Betsy Snook, MEd, BSN, RN