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Boxer Reintroduces Legislation To Support Nurses And Patient Care

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today reintroduced the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act, legislation to protect the rights of nurses to advocate on behalf of their patients, set minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals and invest in nurse training to address the nationwide nursing shortage. The bill was introduced during National Nurses Week, which is commemorated May 6th to May 12th annually.

“I am proud to reintroduce legislation to improve the quality of care in our nation’s hospitals and save the lives of countless patients by investing in our nurses,” Senator Boxer said. “We cannot guarantee high-quality health care to every American without supporting the nurses who work tirelessly every day to provide it.”

The legislation builds on the success of California’s historic law that set minimum nurse-to-patient ratios and extends those standards to all general and long-term care hospitals that participate in Medicare.

Specifically, the bill would:

– Establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratios that will save lives, improve the quality of care and help to counter the nursing shortage by creating a work environment that encourages nurses to remain in the hospital workforce;

– Provide whistleblower protections to protect the right of nurses to advocate for the safety of patients and report violations of minimum standards of care;

– Invest in nursing mentorship demonstration programs to better prepare nurses for work in a hospital setting.

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

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