Lawmakers are considering harmful mandated patient-to-nurse ratios

State legislators are considering a bill that would impose government-mandated nurse staffing levels at all hospitals across the state. Rigid staffing mandates do not create safer conditions for patients and staff, they take decision-making power away from the bedside.



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  • We have an operating room, used primarily for emergency surgeries, and we used to have a labor and delivery unit. We closed that unit indefinitely a few months ago due to staffing shortages. (SB…

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    Heidi Anderson, RN

    CEO, Forks Community Hospital
  • We have a lot of concerns on (SB 5236’s) effects on access to services and significant unintended consequences – the unintended consequences for patients. We think it will cause a combination rigid staffing ratios…

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    Dr. John Bramhall

    Harborview Medical Center/Member of the Washington State Medical Association Executive Committee
  • Over the past week, for example, multiple hospitals in the state are already operating at over 100% capacity. Just today in Western Washington, over 400 patients are boarded in emergency departments who have been…

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    Onora Lien

    Executive Director, Northwest Health Response Network
  • When emergency departments have an influx of patients and they don’t have the staff to care for them, they do what’s called “wall time,” and the EMS staff stay with the patient until the…

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    Kim Williams

    Fire Commissioner, Camano Island, former nurse
  • According to the Washington State Department of Health, Native American women specifically have over double the amount of pregnancies associated with maternal mortality rates than any other race. If you don’t know, Eastern Washington…

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    Norma Sanchez

    Management and Budget Chair, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Business Council
  • “We share the unions’ and [legislators’] concern about the workforce shortage. We just know that California-style ratios are not the solution. We know that because ratios have not solved the workforce shortage in California.”

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    June Altaras, RN

    Executive Vice President & Chief Quality, Safety & Nursing Officer, MultiCare Health System

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