Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015 was sponsored and sanctioned by America Nurse Association. The act was presented to the congress by legislators. The act serves as evidence of immense role nurse advocacy is doing to improve the effectiveness of nurses. Amend title XVIII of social security Act requires each Medicare participating hospital to implement hospital wide staffing plan for nursing services provided in the hospital (Fowler & Comeaux, 2017). Apart from promoting patient protection by ensuring evidence- based staffing levels in hospitals, it also address unique features of patients and hospital units. The above resulted in delivery of safe, quality patient care consistent with specified requirements.
The act also sets forth whistleblower protection against discrimination and retaliation, which involves investigations relating to such plan. The act has been of help in long-term care facilities since patients with more direct RN time have reported fewer acute care hospitalization, pressure ulcers, urinary catheters, and less deterioration in the capacity to perform daily living activities. Increased nursing staffing has gradually improve patients’ outcome in hospital with positive nurse working conditions (O’Connor & Dugan, 2017). Moreover, there are proposals requiring hospitals to establish nurse-staffing committees that permit nurses to create facility-specific staffing policies reviewing staffing levels for registered nurses and support staff.
Fowler, D., & Comeaux, Y. (2017). The legislative role in nurse staffing ratios. MedSurg Nursing, 26(2), 12-14.
O’Connor, K., & Dugan, J. L. (2017). Addressing floating and patient safety. Nursing2019, 47(2), 57-58.
Nurses are one of the biggest growing workforce in the world. Majority of the hospital workforce consist of nurses. Role of nurses is not just limited to patient care but also involves actively advocating and lobbying for legislations that deals with public safety, community welfare, and patient care, nursing issues, wellness and preventive measures. In fact nurses have a very wide scope of interest. IOM report along with Affordable Care Act has further empowered nurses to be proactive. There are quite a few laws that we see enacted due to nursing influence.
Nurses have been against tobacco use, smoking and vaping after seeing the evidence of damage. Recent increase of vaping epidemic among youth has been a nursing concern. They have actively lobbied against it. Their fears were proved right by certain deaths caused by vaping e-cigarettes. The evidence showed that vaping cause irreversible damage to lungs. Galvanized by this new evidence, nurses advocated for ban on e-cigarettes. Their concerns were legitimatized by the elected members of office in the government. Many state governments swung into actions as they anticipated delayed congress action. Many states have banned e cigarettes totally like California (Oncology Nursing Society, 2019). Seeing the rising concern among public and health officials, many stores now refuse to sell vaping products example Walmart. Nurses are educating their patients about the ill effects of vaping whenever they visit their physician or at schools. It is not just the youth that have been affected by vaping but also the adults who took up vaping as an alternative to smoking not knowing its side effects. Since it comes in different flavors, youth are also attracted to it.
State legislation, local regulations are glimpses of bigger changes to follow at federal level. Even with federal regulation this controversy will not die down. Companies that manufacture these products will fight back or try to influence the lawmakers about the safety of the product or try to find a loop hole to bring their product back into the market. Nurses should continue to oppose vaping in any form or kind (flavored or unflavored). We need to continue to create awareness about this product and its damage to the public.
Oncology Nursing Society. (2019, September 23). Nurses impact health policy; State vaping legislation; Pelosi’s drug plan. Retrieved from https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/nurses-impact-health-policy-state-vaping-legislation-pelosis-drug-plan