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UAN Hails Reintroduction of Federal RN Staffing Ratio Bill and Vows to Work for Passage
Date:5/7/2009

than patients at hospitals with ratios of 2.5 or fewer patients to one nurse. They also had 9 percent more urinary tract infections, 5 percent more gastrointestinal episodes, and 6.5 percent more cases of pneumonia acquired in the hospital. Surgery patients in short-staffed hospitals were 6 percent more likely to die from complications like shock or sepsis. (Needleman, Jack, et al. "Nurse-Staffing Levels and Quality of Care in Hospitals", The New England Journal of Medicine, May 30, 2002.)

A lack of nurses at the bedside is, in turn, contributing to a nurse staffing crisis as more and more RNs choose less stressful and dangerous career paths. "RNs have choices in their careers, and many are electing not to put themselves, their families and their patients on the line by working understaffed," said Converso. "We must make hospital nursing an attractive option again by increasing RN staffing levels."

Currently, there is no federal law or standard requiring a minimum level of RN staffing. One state, California, has passed an RN staffing ratio law.

The United American Nurses, AFL-CIO, represents nurses across the country in state nurses associations, collective bargaining programs and independent unions, uniting to work for change on the issues important to staff RNs.


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SOURCE United American Nurses, AFL-CIO
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