Right now, 250 men, women, and children die each day from preventable medical errors—as many as a plane crash every day. We have the power to solve this problem by mandating safe staffing.
Nurses are experts on patient care. Our state acknowledges this by granting nurse licenses that make RNs responsible both for patient lives and for advocating for safe care. Every time we practice in a hospital with short staffing, we’re putting our licenses and patient lives on the line. Now nurses are raising our voices together to call for a safe minimum staffing standard to protect our patients.
Our experiences and scientific studies show that increasing nurse staffing will reduce medical errors and save lives—and money. It’s time for us to create an industry-wide standard to make hospitals safe for all patients.
Nurses and healthcare workers – click here to share your story about why safe staffing matters to your patients.
|“I became a nurse to help people and make a difference. And you can’t do that when you don’t have enough staff. With low staffing, we are putting our patients at risk.”
Shelli Spears, RN, Spokane
Safe staffing saves lives.
A mounting body of scientific evidence shows that improving staffing saves lives.
|“Our staffing committee worked hard to implement a plan that would keep our patients safe. Then, six months later, management decided to reduce it by one nurse per shift. Under current law, this is perfectly legal, though it put our patients at risk. We need to create a safe staffing minimum standard so that hospitals can’t understaff like this.”
Kathy Fletcher, RN, Seattle
Safe staffing saves money.
Medical errors and hospital-acquired conditions are costly but avoidable if we increase nurse staffing.
|“Our ratio numbers keep going up. There are days when we cannot keep up at half the patient load we have to care for. We have had an increase in missed nursing duties and unfinished work. It’s just too much. We have raised it at our staffing committee but our concerns never go past the meetings.”
Barbara Esperas, Nursing Assistant, Spokane
It’s time for an industry standard.
Keeping patients safe is in everyone’s interest—we are all potentially hospital patients.
|“I am a labor and delivery nurse. We do not have enough nurses to cover when admissions go up or patients become unstable. Some days we are lucky to have no emergencies. Our patients should not have to rely on luck to get safe care.”
Nancy Gladsjo, RN, Redmond
To stop the daily plane crash of 250 men, women, and children dying from medical errors, we need a combination of safe baseline staffing, guaranteed nurse breaks, and stopping misuse of on-call.
Support Patient Safety Reform for a guaranteed safe hospital staffing standard – because safe staffing saves lives.
1 Cimiotti JP, Aiken LH, Sloane DM, et al. Nurse Staffing, Burnout, and Health Care-Associated Infection. American Journal of Infection Control. 2012;40(6):486-490. Also, Needleman J, Buerhaus P, Mattke S, et al. Nurse-Staffing Levels and the Quality of Care in Hospitals. New England Journal of Medicine. 2002; 346:1715-1722.
2 Safe level defined as at the 75th percentile of hospitals nationwide. Needleman J, Buerhaus P, Steward M, et al. Nurse-Staffing in Hospitals: Is There a Business Case for Quality? Health Affairs. 2006;25(1):204-211.
3 Aiken LH, Sloane DM, Cimiotti JP, et al. Implications of the California nurse staffing mandate for other states. Health Serv Res. 2010; 45(4):904-21.
4 Dall TJ, Chen YJ, Siefert RF, et al. The Economic Value of Professional Nursing. Medical Care 2009; 47(1):97-104.
5 Needleman J, Buerhaus P, Steward M, et al. Nurse-Staffing in Hospitals: Is There a Business Case for Quality? Health Affairs. 2006;25(1):204-211.
juliep January 29th, 2013