On November 6, voters will be asked to vote yes or no on Question 1, a nurse-to-patient ratio proposal authored by a Massachusetts nurses union that represents less than 25% of nurses in the state. It’s important to note that this is a rigid and specific proposal that cannot be modified before it reaches the voters.
Nurses on both sides are focused on patient safety, but this rigid proposal is not the answer. That’s why nurses throughout the Commonweath, including the Organization of Nurse Leaders, American Nurses Association Massachusetts, New England Chapter of the Infusion Nurses Society and the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing have all joined the Coalition in adamantly opposing mandatory rigid nurse staffing ratios.
Here are THREE QUICK REASONS to VOTE NO on mandated ratios:
- They are not based on any valid science. There are no studies that provide evidence that staffing ratios alone will improve quality of care. In fact, many of the studies that the union cites the most say the exact opposite.
- The ratios are the same for each unit in every hospital on both night and day shifts — from the largest teaching hospitals in Boston to smaller, rural hospitals in Western Massachusetts. But each hospital is unique, each unit is different, each nurse is different and each patient population is different.
- The mandate does not account for the acuity of the patient or the experience of nurses working on the unit at that time. Recent nursing graduates would have the same patient responsibilities as nurses with twenty years of experience. As nurses, we know that doesn’t make any sense.
Download our fact sheets to learn more about the proposal and the impacts for nurses, patients and their families.
The ratios in Question 1 would have to be maintained at all times (both day and night shifts), in all hospitals, with no flexibility, regardless of circumstances or level of experience.
Delays in care for patients, unit closures and patient transfers. Loss of autonomy for nurses, increase in floating and change in shift length and schedules.
We took a closer look at the studies and not one addresses unit-specific ratios or validates the rigid mandate for nurse staffing in Question 1.
Mandated RN ratios might sound like a good idea. The facts say otherwise.
Nurses address the most frequently asked questions about Question 1.
A comprehensive review of the undocumented claims in the MNA mailer and the facts, including citations.
See What Nurses Are Saying
Want to get involved? There are many ways to be a part of the campaign!
Join the Conversation on Social Media
You can share your support with your friends and colleagues by posting something like this on Facebook:
Friends — Quite a bit of information is flying around about the ballot question that would mandate nurse staffing ratios. As a nurse, I am deeply concerned about the impact this proposal would have on my real-time decision making and ability to care for my patients. I encourage you all to follow the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety to learn how mandated nurse staffing ratios would harm nurses like me and, more importantly, hurt patient care and community hospitals.
As a nurse, I know without a doubt that no two nurses, patients or hospitals are the same. We must reject mandated nurse staffing ratios to #protectpatientsafety @mapatientsafety