Federal Nurse Safe Staffing Bill Gains Support From The ANA

2 Min Read Published November 3, 2023
Federal Nurse Safe Staffing Bill Gains Support From The ANA

The American Nurses Association (ANA) recently announced its support for new federal legislation focused on implementing minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in hospitals across the country. 

Nursing Staffing Standards For Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act

The Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act (H.R.2530 and S.1113), was reintroduced in March 2023 by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Co-Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families, and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). The bill would require all hospitals that participate in Medicare to establish and comply with minimum nurse staffing levels as a condition of participation in the program.

According to the ANA, the bills would help ensure nurses have reasonable workloads so they can provide high-quality care to patients. The legislation also aims to improve nurse retention and create a safer work environment.

ANA Statement

The ANA believes the legislation, if passed, would have a significant impact. 

“Nurses are expected to provide excellent care, but they often work in conditions that make that exceedingly difficult. They do not get paid enough and are stretched thin in their roles and responsibilities. Nurses must practice in work environments where their professional and personal well-being is supported and protected.  Policy coupled with other nurse-led staffing standards and solutions will improve nurses’ working environment and patient outcomes,” said President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. 

"The nurse staffing crisis stems from the work environment. ANA is glad that Senator Brown and Representative Schakowsky brought new support and attention to advance this legislation and that there are members in Congress who use their platform to elevate the issues nurses face on a day-to-day basis. This legislation is an example of intentional action that demonstrates the value of nursing care and the nursing workforce," said Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Hatmaker, Ph.D., RN, FAAN.

Read the full press release here

States Take Action on Nurse Staffing

In addition to the ANA’s efforts, several states have recently introduced legislation to implement nurse staffing standards. Bills in New York, Illinois and Massachusetts are still pending, while a staffing law in Connecticut is awaiting funding to be implemented. California currently has the only legally mandated statewide nurse-to-patient ratios in the U.S. Voters approved minimum ratios in 1999, and the California Department of Public Health has found higher staffing levels have improved patient care.


Go to the top of page