National Nurses United

RNs In Motion CNA-NNU

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 55

Legislative Advocacy The U.S. health care system is failing our patients. Every day we see the impact of restricted access to health services. Chronic diseases go untreated, med- ications are too expensive, and ERs too full. When patients are admitted to our hospitals, we are often assigned too many to care for appropriately. We do not have to wait for others to solve this patient care crisis. RNs are uniquely qualified to frame the debate in our communities, professional medical societies, legislatures, and even the White House. California CNA/NNU-represented RNs enjoy the highest cred- ibility rating among legislators and the public of any other professional group in the state and through- out the nation. CNA/NNU Precedent-Setting Legislation » First-in-the-nation state-mandated RN-to- patient staffing ratios, which also prohibits the assignment of unlicensed personnel to perform nursing functions in lieu of an RN (A.B. 394). » Workplace violence prevention bill (S.B. 1299) establishes strongest standards in the country for employers to implement plans, conduct trainings, and take other steps to ensure a safe work environment for health care workers. » Legislation (A.B. 2537) requiring all hospitals to maintain a three-month stockpile of personal protective equipment. » Landmark lift bill (A.B. 1136) requires all Cali- fornia hospitals to have a safe patient handling policy, including trained lift teams. » Bans phone advice by unlicensed persons (A.B. 285, S.B. 969). » Whistle-blower protection for health care pro- viders who expose unsafe conditions (S.B. 97). » $20 million plus for nursing education. » California State Department of Health Services Title 22 regulations addressing safe floating practices, competency validation, and patient classification systems. » Requirement that caregivers disclose their cre- dentials while providing patient care. Prohibits anyone other than an RN or LVN from using the term "nurse" (A.B. 1439). » Scholarships and loans to RNs seeking a higher degree in nursing and committing to serve as RN educators for at least three years (A.B. 702). » $3.5 million to UC and CSU to increase capacity in entry-level masters and BSN nursing programs, and improve classroom facilities (S.B. 73). » Prohibits discrimination based on medical con- ditions and/or genetic characteristics (S.B. 654). The Nation California's Safe Staffing Ratios Law Paves the Way for National Bills CNA/NNU is now working to pass comprehensive, federal legislation establishing safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios. The bills have multiple provisions designed to remedy unsafe staffing in acute-care facilities: » Mandates minimum, specific, numerical ratios for each unit to apply at all times, including breaks. » Requires a patient classification system; additional RNs added based on patient needs. » Ensures RNs the legal guarantee to serve as patient advocates. » Prohibits use of mandatory overtime. » No layoffs of ancillary staff as a result of the ratios. » Regulates use of unlicensed staff. » Restricts unsafe floating of nursing staff. » Whistle-blower protections for caregivers who report unsafe practices. » RN workforce initiatives: › Education assistance programs for associate and baccalaureate degree applicants. › Preceptorship and mentorship programs. » Federal assistance for the purchase of safe patient handling equipment. » Strengthening emergency-preparedness capac- ity — mandatory paid leave for participation in disaster relief with employment, rights, and benefits. » Safe hospital care workplace standards — zero-lift policy, to replace current practices of unassisted manual lifting, repositioning, and transferring of patients with the use of patient transfer devices, lifting devices, and lift teams. 36 RNs in Motion

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of National Nurses United - RNs In Motion CNA-NNU