Minn. Panel Weighs Plan for Nurse Staffing Levels

Updated: 02/21/2013 6:58 AM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

The Minnesota Legislature is ready to engage on a controversial proposal seeking state-imposed requirements on the number of nurses working shifts in hospitals.

The concept of staffing ratios has been a hot topic at the bargaining table between hospitals and a nurses union. A bill that going before a House committee on Thursday would to devise and enact hospital-by-hospital staffing requirements over the next year in a process set out in law.

The plan would establish a system of record keeping for hospitals and potential punishments for those that fall short of the standards. Staffing levels would have to be posted in waiting areas for staff, patients and the public. Annual reports from hospitals would include details on the hours-per-patient that nurses work.

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