New Legislation May Require a Nurse on Duty 24/7 in All Government Funded Facilities

A new bill in Illinois called the “Put A Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act” is being introduced by Representative Jan Schakowsky. The bill, which still needs to be voted on before it would have a chance at becoming law, would require that any nursing home facility receiving either Medicare or Medicaid funds have a Registered Nurse on duty all day, every day.

According to a report by HealthCare Dive, the current requirement is that any qualifying nursing home must have a nurse on duty for at least eight hours a day. This requirement was passed back in 1987, and there has been little regulation of nursing homes passed since then.

Some states are currently mandating that nursing home facilities have a nurse on staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, the new law would make that requirement extend nationwide. Currently, it is estimated that almost 12% of nursing homes do not have a full-time nurse on staff 24/7. The cost of one full-time nurse is approximately $68,000.

More Nurses Equates to Better Care

It seems too obvious to state, but more nurses results in better care being provided to nursing home residents. A 2005 study by the American Journal of Nursing found that increasing the amount of time a nurse spends with a patient decreases that patient’s chances of getting pressure ulcers, needing hospitalization, and developing urinary tract infections. It was also shown that these patients suffered less weight loss and more frequently took their medication as prescribed.

All too often, nurses are stretched too thin and are forced to provide only marginal care to their patients in nursing homes. This can lead to all kinds of serious problems, including the spread of preventable disease, increased accidents, and ultimately premature death. In many of these cases, the underlying cause of death was preventable, had appropriate care been given to the resident in the first place.

When a nursing home patient suffers serious injury or passes away due to the negligence of a nursing home facility or due to the negligence of a specific nurse, the family of that patient may be entitled to monetary damages to compensate them for their loss. To learn more, contact an experienced Maryland nursing home negligence attorney.

Is Your Loved One at Risk?

If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and are skeptical of the care that is being provided, don’t wait until it is too late. Act now to ensure your loved one’s safety and then consult with an experienced Maryland nursing home negligence attorney to see if you or your loved one may have a case against the nursing home. Each year, thousands of nursing home patients die too early a death due to the negligence of nursing homes. Don’t let them continue to get away with it. Call 410-654-3600 today to schedule a free initial consultation with a Maryland nursing home negligence attorney.

See More Blog Posts:

New York Nursing Home Questioned After Another Patient Death, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 18, 2014.

Nurse Arrested for the Abuse of a 92-Year-Old Nursing Home Patient, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 5, 2014.

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