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Chair of Public Health Committee Announces Pending Draft of a Compromise Bill on RN Staffing

MNA Remains Committed to Working on a Meaningful Compromise on Legislation that Protects Patients and Addresses a Growing Nursing Crisis

CANTON, Mass.—This morning, at an Executive Session of the Joint Committee on Public Health, Chairman Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham) announced that the committee is putting the final touches on a redraft of legislation based on two closely watched bills that attempt to deal with a growing patient safety crisis in Massachusetts hospitals.

One bill, H. 2663, sponsored by the Massachusetts Nurses Association and 105 leading health care organizations, calls for safe limits on the number of patients a nurse is assigned and other safety measures. The other bill, S. 1260, sponsored by the Massachusetts Hospital Association, calls for support for increases in nurse faculty and nurse scholarships. It sets no limits on the number of patients a nurse is assigned despite overwhelming evidence linking patient outcomes to nurse staffing levels.

Chairman Koutoujian said the committee intends to release the compromise bill in a few weeks. The MNA is encouraged by the committee’s decision to reach a meaningful compromise on this issue and it looks forward to working with members of the committee to ensure passage of legislation that will protect the quality and safety of care provided to all patients in Massachusetts hospitals.


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