On April 29, the Massachusetts Nurses Association Board of Directors hosted a Telephone Town Meeting, where they conducted a live survey of MNA members to assist in determining the next steps in our campaign to win safe patient limits in all units for all hospitals in our state.
As you may recall, last year the MNA pursued a ballot initiative to win safe patient limits in all hospitals. We were successful in gathering enough signatures to actually place the question on last November’s ballot. In late June, just prior to the deadline for placing this question on the ballot, we were approached by the legislature on a compromise measure, where the legislature promised to pass a landmark law to set safe patient limits for nurses working in all Massachusetts ICUs. The legislature passed the ICU staffing law with a unanimous vote in both houses, and the law is now in effect. We accepted the measure, seeing it as an important first step with the understanding that we would resubmit legislation this year to extend safe patient limits beyond the ICU to all areas of the hospital. Click here to learn more about the new law.
In January we filed that legislation and we are now pursuing passage of this expanded safe patient limits law through the legislative process. We are also looking at other means of making this law a reality including once again taking the issue directly to the voters through the ballot initiative process, should the legislature fail to pass the bill we have just filed. Click here to learn more about the Patient Safety Act and here to view the full text of the bill.
Thousands of MNA members participated in the Town Hall and took the survey.
This information will prove vital to assisting the Board in determining the best course of action to better protect our patients by establishing safe patient limits on nurses’ patient assignments. Please stay connected to the MNA and come back to this web site or our Facebook page to follow this ongoing campaign.