ALBANY, NY (Sept. 18) -– The Nursing Care Quality Protection Act, which makes it possible for patients and their families to get information about staffing levels in hospitals, was signed into law by Gov. Paterson on Wednesday, September 16. The New York State Nurses Association has championed this legislation, and its registered nurse members have engagedin intensive lobbying on its behalf.
“Nurses across the state appreciate the governor’s support for this legislation, which will give the public a vital piece of data to help make informed decisions about where to receive care,” said Tina Gerardi, RN, chief executive officer of the New York State Nurses Association. “This is a landmark measure for both patients and nurses.”
The new law requires each hospital to report the numbers of RNs and LPNs providing direct care and the ratio of patients to nurses; the number of unlicensed personnel providing direct care; the incidence of adverse patient events such as medication errors and injuries; and the method the hospital uses for determining and adjusting staffing levels. It goes into
effect on March 16, 2010; the bill had been passed by the State Assembly on April 1, and by the State Senate on July 16.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.