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Nurses and Workplace Safety

Nurses fight to protect patients. We fight to protect nurses.

The Nurses Health & Safety Campaign (NHSC) — a project of National Nurses United’s premiere Health & Safety Division—is a network of nurses and allies, committed to collectively advocating for nurse health and safety. United, we will continue fighting to advance protections for nurses and patients, through direct action and advocacy in the legislative and regulatory arenas. Some of our priorities for 2017 include: Federal nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, workplace violence prevention, safe patient handling, and protecting nurses nationwide from infectious disease.

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National Campaign for Safe RN-to-Patient Staffing Ratios

Welcome to our nationwide safe patient ratios campaign to ensure safe staffing for RNs and patients across the country. We all deserve the best care possible. California’s historic first-in-the-nation safe staffing ratios, sponsored by the California Nurses Association, took 13 years to win and have been in effect since January 2004 despite continued efforts of the hospital industry to overturn the law. Safe RN ratios have been proven to improve the quality of care and nurse recruitment and retention in California hospitals.

We have two national safe patient ratio bills, one in the Senate S. 864 (Boxer) and the House HR 1602 (Schakowsky).

  • The National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act | S. 864 (Boxer)
    This bill establishes requirements for acute-care facilities to provide registered nurse staff based on the acuity of patients provided that minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for each unit are met at all times. Registered nurses shall also have the obligation to act in the exclusive interest of their patients, and the right to be patient advocates.
  • Safe Nurse Staffing for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act – HR 1602 (Schakowsky)
    Nurses are increasingly put into impossible situations by hospital managers who demand they care for more patients than is safe. There is a proven method to save patient lives and save hospital money — mandated minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. In Congress, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) re-introduced her Safe Nurse Staffing for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act to improve patient quality of care by establishing a requirement for nurse-to-patient ratios that put patient safety first.

RNs nationwide are actively working with NNU to win their own mandated direct-care RN-to-patient staffing ratios. RNs in other nations have also been fighting to improve conditions for their patients. Studies show that staffing ratios save lives, yet understaffing is a major issue RNs struggle with every day. Together, we can change that.


Other Key Health And Safety Issues:

an image of a large group of nurses picketing and protesting with large red signs and bright red shirts
Workplace Violence
Patient Handling
Patient Handling
three women in red holding signs that say 'Stop Ebola'
Infectious Disease