Tim O’Connell Looks at Possible Shortcomings of Newly Passed Oregon Nurse Staffing Law

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In a new article in the Portland Business Journal, Tim O’Connell shared his insights on possible issues with Oregon’s new nurse staffing law, which when it goes fully into effect will mandate for the first time that hospitals staff up to meet prescribed nurse-to-patient ratios.

Strongly supported by nurses unions and, eventually, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, enactment of the law followed years of complaints about staffing, which only intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to veteran labor & employment attorney O’Connell, an overriding concern for hospitals is that assumptions were built into the law as to their ability to staff to the required ratios.

“And that’s all they are, assumptions,” O’Connell said. “There are shortages in many of the technical and professional specialties that are covered by those staffing statutes and, certainly, there are shortages of nurses. I don’t see anything in the statute that incents or sets up programs to establish ways to bring more RNs into the state.”

Read the full article here.

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