LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Excessive overtime, lack of hospital transparency, and too many patients per nurse.
That’s what nurses say they’re seeing across the board.
On Wednesday, they presented their plan to state representatives saying it would solve what they call a “nursing nightmare”
“What they need is a reasonable workload, and a safe environment to safely take care of our community, and those nurses will come back,” said RN Lori Batzloff.
Batzloff is a registered nurse and one of the over 100 nurses who rallied at the capitol today.
They say our state is seeing a “care crisis” – a lack of nurses.
But it’s not because of fewer people coming into the industry.
“There are a shortage of nurses willing to work under the conditions, that nurses are working under right now,” said RN Anne Jackson.
Nurses said uncapped hours and “ridiculous” patient-to-worker ratios are the reason for a third of licensed nurses in Michigan refusing to be at the bedside.
Their solution? The “Safe Patient Care Act,” a three-bill package would limit the number of patients per healthcare worker, make hospitals disclose those ratios, and limit mandatory overtime.
“Which is the typical hospital solution, just do more with less. We’ll just make the few nurses we have work longer hours,” said Batzloff.
The Michigan Hospital Association says it’s skeptical and any law that limits the patient to nurse ratio would only take medical attention away from the community.
“Our chief nursing officers are really in the best position to make those decisions, a one-size fits all mandated approach, certainly does not give us that flexibility…This would only add fuel to that fire and really threaten that viability of our hospitals throughout the state of Michigan,” said Brian Peters with the Michigan Hospital Association.
A survey done by the University of Michigan shows 39% of nurses in our state plan to leave their job in the next year.
Members of the Nurses Association think this “Care Act” would reduce that number.
“We need regulations that will support nurses to be able to take care of their patients adequately, and once that happens you will see nurses return to the bedside,” said Batzloff.
The “Safe Patient Care Act” was first introduced in 2017, but has never made it to a full floor vote.
Nursing Association officials said this time around they are hopeful, that with recent bipartisan support, it will at least make it out of committee.