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

and real whistleblower protection for nurses," said Phoenix metro RN Lindy Abts. "I know many nurses have left hospitals because of the staffing ratios; those same nurses have said they would return if ratios were safe for patients and for themselves."

"I have been a nurse since 1993 and have worked in different hospitals in Arizona. I know that when I worked in a Skilled Nursing unit inside of a hospital, I was assigned up to 25 patients on the night shift," said Kirk Herbert, RN at Yavapai Regional Medical Center.

"On many occasions I had a patient developed a life threatening complication. While I cared for this patient, the other 24 patients would end up with delayed care. With better staffing ratios, patients would receive better care and the life that is saved might be yours," Herbert said.

"The nursing care hospitalized patients need is increasingly complex. In Arizona, mandated nurse-to-patient ratios would improve the nurses' ability to safely care for patients according to their individual needs," said Tucson Medical Center, RN Jane Black.

The APPA's ratios are modeled after the successful 1999 law in California that was strengthened again on January 1. Ratios differ by hospital area, such as a minimum of no less than one RN for every five patients in general medical or post-surgical care units, 1:4 in pediatrics, and 1:4 in emergency rooms. The ratios are a floor, not a ceiling, with hospitals also required to increase registered nurse staffing as needed based on individual patient illness or acuity.

"California's ratios are a spectacular success story," said Zenei

Cortez, RN, member of the NNOC/CNA Council of Presidents. "Under our ratio law, lives are being saved, our ability to be effective advocates for our patients is stronger, and more RNs are entering the work force and staying at the bedside longer mitigating the nursing shortage."

Since the law was signed, 80,000 more licensed RNs have come into Ca
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SOURCE The National Nurses Organizing Committee
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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