Synopsis As Introduced Creates the Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act. Provides that every hospital must implement a staffing plan that: (1) provides adequate, appropriate, and quality delivery of health care services and protects patient safety; and (2) is consistent with the requirements of the Act concerning minimum direct care registered nurse-to-patient ratios. Sets forth minimum direct care registered nurse-to-patient ratios, according to the type of hospital unit. Provides that the Department of Public Health may apply those minimum direct care registered nurse-to-patient ratios to another type of hospital unit if that other unit performs a function similar to the function performed by the unit referred to in the minimum ratio standards. Provides that the minimum direct care registered nurse-to-patient ratios do not apply during a declared state of emergency if a hospital is requested or expected to provide an exceptional level of emergency or other medical services. Effective immediately.
House Committee Amendment No. 1 Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Creates the Nursing Care and Quality Improvement Act. Provides that not later than one year after the Act's effective date, each hospital shall implement a written staffing plan that (i) provides for safe, therapeutic, and competent care services, (ii) protects patient safety, and (iii) is consistent with the requirements of the Act. Sets forth minimum direct care registered nurse-to-patient ratios; requires the Department of Public Health to adopt rules prescribing the time by which these provisions must be implemented, but in no event later than 2 years after the Act's effective date. Requires a hospital to reevaluate its staffing plan annually. Sets forth circumstances under which a nurse may refuse to accept an assignment as a nurse in a hospital, and provides for nurse protections. Provides for penalties for violations of the Act.