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Legislative Solutions: Improving Standards for Nurse Staffing and the Quality of Patient Care

Madeleine Golde, MSSW, Service Employees International Union, 1313 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005, 202/898-3200, goldem@seiu.org

There are not enough nurses to do what needs to be done on any given shift and the nurses who are on duty are exhausted and stressed. Studies confirm that understaffing causes patient care to suffer and nurses to leave their profession. This presentation will address the status of federal and state legislation that seeks to establish improved standards for nurse staffing in response to the staffing crisis and improve the quality of patient care. Such legislation includes provisions limiting mandatory overtime and the establishment of nurse-to-patient ratios.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to