For the past four months, a new law has been in effect that requires hospitals to adhere to safe patient limits for registered nurses who work in all the state’s hospital intensive care units, ensuring that no nurse can be assigned more than one patient or in certain circumstances, no more than two patients based on the assessment of the staff nurses (not managers or supervisors) on that unit.
This month, the state’s Health Policy Commission released draft regulations that will establish a process for hospitals to develop an acuity tool to be used by nurses to determine if and when a nurse can take a second patient. These regulations are now out for public comment and the HPC will be scheduling public hearings on the draft regulations sometime in March. The MNA has a number of concerns about the proposed regulations and we will be using the telephone town meeting on Feb. 12 to update interested nurses on these concerns, while also explaining how nurses can support our efforts to convince the Commission to make necessary revisions.
Visit the MNA web site at www.massnurses.org and click on the “ICU Staffing Law” button on the right hand side of the home page to learn more about the law and the proposed regulations.
To learn more, join our Telephone Town Meeting at 5 p.m. on February 12.
You can learn more about the new law, ask questions about what it means for you and your practice, as well as learn how you can participate in the public hearings in March. MNA will call you directly on the number we have on file for you shortly before the Town Meeting to connect you to event. To participate, just pick up the phone when you get the call.