Legislature must address WA nursing crisis

Published by THE SEATTLE TIMES on 1/18/23 (Source)

Senate Bill 5236 would, among other things, create staff-to-patient ratios for hospitals; a committee comprising hospital administrators and medical staff to develop the ratios and standards for each hospital; and set financial penalties for violating the staffing plan.

The Washington State Nurses Association, along with nurses unions, are pushing patient-to-staff ratios, which, they say, would mean more nurses employed, which would help with understaffing and burnout and thus better serve patients.

The bill is pitting medical staff against hospital administrators, but there’s at least one point in which all should agree: When nurses are overworked, it’s the patient that stands to lose.