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Legislation Would Give Texas Nurses Even Stronger Voice in Hospital Staffing
Date:1/14/2009

Also Provides Additional Patient Advocacy Protections for Texas Nurses

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Nurses who provide direct patient care in Texas hospitals will gain even more influence in setting appropriate nurse-to-patient staffing levels, thanks to 2009 legislation filed today.

The legislation, authored in the Senate by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and in the House by Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), and supported by the Texas Nurses Association (TNA) and the Texas Hospital Association (THA), will build upon existing nurse staffing regulations and strengthen the voice of Texas nurses on staffing matters in hospitals in several ways. The legislation, which reflects extensive negotiations between TNA and THA, adds a legal requirement for all hospital governing boards to adopt, implement and enforce a nurse staffing policy. Additionally:

  • The role and status of the nurse staffing committee will be elevated by making it a standing committee that must report directly to the hospital board.
  • The nurse staffing committee would continue to be comprised of at least 50 percent registered nurses who provide direct patient care. However, RN committee members would now be selected by their peer direct care nurses and represent their voices in the staffing plan as well.
  • The nurse staffing committee would be responsible for selecting the nurse-sensitive outcome measures that would be used in evaluating the staffing plan.
  • The committee would evaluate semiannually the effectiveness of the plan on patient outcomes, as well as any variances between it and actual staffing.
  • Hospitals would also be required to report certain data about their nurse staffing plan to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).

Nurse staffing committees allow nurses who are providing
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SOURCE Texas Nurses Association
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