NEW YORK NURSE: October 2009
New York now has a law requiring hospitals to report their staffing levels to the state and to make these reports available to the public.
Gov. David Paterson signed the Nursing Care Quality Protection Act on Sept. 16. It will take effect in March 2010. After years of both official lobbying and grassroots activism, this was a sweet victory for nurses and their patients.
“We are pleased that the governor recognizes that the public has a right to know how hospitals are staffing their units,” said Shaun Flynn, director of the NYSNA Governmental Affairs Department. “In addition, state regulators will have reliable information about how nurse staffing affects the quality of patient care.”
The law affects hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, hospices, and other facilities licensed under Article 28 of the state public health law.
Key provisions of the law:
Each facility will report nursing quality indicators, such as:
Facilities will provide this information to the state Department of Health and to any member of the public who requests it.
“This is a huge victory for our members, who lobbied long and hard for this law,” said Tina Gerardi, NYSNA chief executive officer. “Now we need to start the difficult task of monitoring the way this law is implemented and enforced.”