READ MORE: Effective Nurse Communication Skills and Strategies Ninety percent of nurses say they don’t have the time to provide adequate comfort and emotional support to their patients and patients’ family members, and 86 percent of nurses say they can’t spend as much time on patient education as would be ideal.
“This has been a long time coming, and nurses have been advocating for a YES for patient safety for decades,” Donna Kelly-Williams, RN at the Cambridge Hospital Birth Center and President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said in a statement announcing the ballot question.
For example, hospitals would need to adhere to a one-to-one nurse-to-patient ratio in intensive care units, while the emergency room would call for a one-to-three nurse-to-patient ratio.
The ballot question will also provide flexibility for hospitals that have unique patient needs, leaving ultimate decisions for enforced ratios up to the judgement of the nurse providing patient care, said the Massachusetts Nurses Association, one of the ballot questions primary proponents.
The research team also analyzed complication rates, including central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, and patient falls with injury.
These increases were not significantly higher than staffing trends in states without state-mandated ICU staffing regulations.
"But we did not identify improvements in patient outcomes associated with the state’s nursing requirements."In 2014, Massachusetts passed a law requiring 1-to-1 or 2-to-1 patient-to-nurse staffing ratios in intensive care units, as guided by a tool that accounts for patient acuity and anticipated care intensity.Several seminal studies have demonstrated the link between nurse staffing ratios and patient safety, documenting an increased risk of patient safety events, morbidity, and even mortality as the number of patients per nurse increases.” READ MORE: Improving Nurse Communication with a 56-Second Strategy However, nurse staffing ratios may be more nuanced than that.AHRQ contends that other factors such as shift time, patient acuity, and other environmental factors influence patient outcomes, regardless of staff ratios.“As an active bedside nurse, I see it every day on the hospital floor and I hear it every day from my colleagues across the state.It’s time for hospital executives to put patient care over profits.” But the issues of patient safety, patient care access, and nurse staffing ratios are not always simple.