Massachusetts would join California in establishing a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio under a bill introduced in the state Legislature and backed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association. The bill calls for one nurse to every four patients in medical-surgical units and a ratio ranging from 1 to 1 and 1 to 3 in emergency departments, depending on the severity of patients' conditions. The measure also would require the state health department to create a patient classification system based on acuity to allow staffing flexibility yet account for patients who require more care. A joint House-Senate committee was holding a hearing on the matter today. The bill was introduced by state Rep. Christine Canavan (D-Brockton) earlier this year. -- by Patrick Reilly
Mass. considering minimum nurse-staffing law
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