Does Nurse-to-Patient Ratio Legislation Help Patients or Harm Hospitals in the United States?
In an effort to improve patient care at hospitals, and working conditions for nurses, many states in the United States are considering the implementation of nursing ratio laws. These laws would require specific nurse-to-patient ratios be maintained by hospitals at all times. The specific ratios differ by hospital department, and are legislatively mandated. Nursing ratio legislation is currently being considered in the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. Thus far, only California has implemented nursing ratios, and they have experienced mixed results.