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Arizona Patient Protection Act Introduced
Date:1/4/2008

HB 2041 Sets Safe Nurse-to-Patient Staffing Ratios, Ability for Nurses to

Advocate for Urgent Patient Safety Measures

PHOENIX, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Arizona registered nurse leaders today announced the historic introduction of major legislation to make Arizona hospitals safer for patients and strengthen the ability of RNs to expose unsafe conditions and advocate for patient protections.

HB 2041, the Arizona Patient Protection Act, is sponsored by House member Tom Prezelski at the request of the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association.

Introduction of the bill was greeted by nurses across the state who have voiced increasing alarm about the erosion of care conditions in Arizona hospitals that they say put patients at risk and fan the nursing shortage as many RNs will no longer work in unsafe hospitals.

Among its major provisions, the Act:

-- Mandates minimum, specific RN-to-patient staffing ratios which are

widely seen by nurses and health care experts to be the most effective

standard for safer nursing care and for promoting the retention and

recruitment of RNs.

-- Whistleblower protection for RNs who report unsafe hospital conditions

or for refusing unsafe patient care assignments.

-- Legal recognition of the right of RNs to act as advocates for their

patients rather than for the economic interests of their hospital

employer.

"Hospitals have a responsibility to staff properly in order for nurses to provide quality care for patients. Hospitals aren't doing that," said Diane Baker, an RN at Flagstaff Medical Center. "The Arizona Patient Protection Act requires staffing levels, at all times, based on the acuity of the patient. This will save lives and allow us to provide the care that our fellow Arizonians deserve."

"A legal mandate is the safest way to establish staffing ratios
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SOURCE The National Nurses Organizing Committee
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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