News from the Michigan Nurses Association
Contact: Dawn Kettinger, 517-721-9688
Bipartisan plan aims to make hospitals safer, help RNs provide the best care possible
Legislators want more hospital accountability, transparency on nurse staffing
(Includes quotes from all six sponsoring legislators - three Republicans, three Democrats)
(Lansing, MI) Six lawmakers from around the state and both parties today introduced various bills that
aim to help RNs provide the best care possible and keep people safe from harm in Michigan’s hospitals.
The package, called the Safe Patient Care Act, sets safe limits on the number of patients a registered
nurse can be assigned, limits the hours an RN can be forced to work, and requires hospitals to be
transparent about their staffing levels.
“Your nurse is your first line of defense in the hospital, but RNs all over the state report that they
have less and less time to spend monitoring and taking care of each patient,” said John Armelagos, RN,
President of the Michigan Nurses Association. “A law requiring safe RN staffing levels is urgently needed, considering that patient harm in hospitals is now the third leading cause of death in America. Nurses see every day how without a law, it’s the patients who suffer while the industry prospers.”
Michigan RNs report consistent understaffing and excessive forced overtime at many hospitals. In
independent polling last year, 86% of Michigan RNs said patient care is suffering because they are
assigned too many patients and 22% reported awareness of a patient dying because of short staffing.
The strong bipartisan support for the 3-part package, with legislative sponsors from both parties and
all parts of Michigan, reflects growing interest in holding the profitable hospital industry accountable for
addressing the widespread problem of understaffing and overworking hospital RNs.