Bills Mandating Nurse Staffing Ratios Receive Committee Hearing
Posted on November 30, 2017
On Nov. 29, members of the Michigan House Health Policy Committee heard testimony on House Bills 4629-4631, legislation that would mandate nurse staffing ratios in Michigan. The bills, part of a package of bills collectively known as the Safe Patient Care Act, were introduced in May 2017.
As has been the case with past bills of this type, the MHA does not support the legislation. In written testimony provided to committee members, the MHA stated that staffing is a collaborative process, and a mandated, fixed ratio does not allow for flexibility or innovation within care teams. They went on to say that, given the number of variables that can impact patient care, including staff capabilities and patients’ clinical needs, staffing decisions should continue to be made at the local level.
That message was reiterated during testimony delivered before the committee by Joyce Young, CENP, PhD, RN, regional chief nursing officer, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Ann Arbor, and Renay Gagleard, DNP, MSN, RN-BC, director of women and children’s services, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, who were speaking on behalf of Trinity Health and the Michigan Organization of Nurse Leaders in opposition to the bills. Young urged committee members to focus on how stakeholders can work together to grow Michigan’s nursing workforce. Since the purpose of the hearing was to collect testimony on the bills, there was no vote to report the legislation to the House floor.
In addition to this week’s committee activity on the mandatory nurse staffing ratios, the latest episode of the MiCare Champion podcast addresses legislating hospital staffing ratios. The episode features conversations with Chris Mitchell, senior vice president of advocacy, MHA, Young and Tom Mee, president and CEO, McLaren Greater Lansing, about how the bills could impact Michigan hospitals. It is available to listen to via SoundCloud, iTunes and many other podcast apps.
Members with questions about the bills should contact Paige Fults at the MHA. Members with questions about the podcast, or those who would like to submit ideas for future podcast topics, should contact Laura Hall at the MHA.
Photo Caption: Joyce Young, CENP, PhD, RN, regional chief nursing officer, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Ann Arbor, testifies before the Michigan House Health Policy Committee on Nov. 29.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare