Two groups that provide care to patients in community settings on Wednesday came out against a proposed ballot question imposing nurse staffing requirements on hospitals.
“If hospitals across Massachusetts need to hire more than 5,000 new nurses, I fear it will pull nurses away from the home health community,” Pat Kelleher, director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, said in a statement.
Holly Chaffee, a registered nurse and CEO of VNA Care, said the ballot measure “will contribute to the shortage of seasoned nurses” and is in conflict with what she called “a strong movement toward shifting acute care patients home.”
A home care and hospice caregiving organization, VNA Care provides specialty services like IV therapy, disease management and diabetes and geriatric care.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association for years has unsuccessfully pushed for nurse staffing ratio legislation and this year is turning to the ballot, hoping voters will agree with their argument that more nurses in hospital settings will reduce medical errors and hospital readmissions and give nurses enough time to properly care for patients.