RN Staffing Ratios: The necessity of regulated nurse staffing ratios to ensure patient safety and improved outcomes for hospitalized patients.

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Conservative estimates place the annual death toll from preventable errors, errors that should never occur in a safe hospital setting, at approximately 250,000 per year. *
The California ratio law has had a positive impact on recruitment and retention of RNs and has dramatically improved patient outcomes. *
A 2006 study showed that if all hospitals increased RN staffing to match the best-staffed hospitals in the country, 5,000 in-hospital patient deaths and 60,000 adverse patient outcomes could be avoided. *
Nurse-to-patient ratios decrease nurse autonomy and undermine the professional judgment of the direct-care registered nurse. *
California RN staffing ratio law was associated with a 31.6% reduction in occupational injuries and illnesses among RNs working in hospitals in California. *
Improved nurse working environment, likewise, translates into savings from improved patient outcomes and shorter patient lengths of stay. *
Nurses from units with low staffing and poor organizational climates were less likely as nurses on well-staffed and better-organized units to report risk factors for needlestick injuries and near misses. *
Patient advocacy demands that RNs must always side with their managers and agree to double up on their assignments during meal and break time, or agree to transfer and discharge their patients to a lower level of care than is safe in the professional judgment of the RN, in order to protect their hospital’s budget and operating margin. *
Improved nurse job satisfaction and patient outcomes will increase spending on temporary RNs and overtime costs and raise RN turnover. *
Increased RN staffing is associated with shorter patient stays, lower rates of urinary tract infections, lower rates of gastrointestinal bleeding, and lower rates of failure to rescue *