Research legislation that has occurred within the last 5 years at the state or federal level as a result of nurse advocacy. Describe the legislation and what was accomplished. What additional steps need to be taken to continue advocacy for this issue?
Expert Answer and Explanation
Nursing Advocacy Efforts in Massachusetts
The signing into law, the Massachusetts’ bill, H.4228, in 2014 marked an important event in the advocacy role of the nurses in the state. This bill would put limit to the number of patients a nursing professional has to work with in emergency units. This legislation enforces a 1:1 nurse to patient ratio where nurses work with new mothers and newborn babies, and a 1:4 provider to patient ratio in surgical units. According to this bill, hospitals which violet this legislation would be liable to a fine of $25,000. This signing of this law was a result of persisted efforts partly influenced by the passage of a similar legislation in California in 2004 (Bill H.4228, 2014).
While this bill is linked to favorable patient care outcomes, Massachusetts’ voters recently, voted against this bill. California has experienced a decline in the number of the mortality incidences since a similar law came to effect. In Massachusetts, the idea of enactment of the bill has been contentious, and this manifested when Massachusetts’ public rejected it in 2018, just less than four years after the passing of the bill into law (Bill H.4228, 2014).
The Massachusetts’ nursing bodies such as the state’s American Nursing Association (ANA) wing can advance the advocacy objectives using key strategies. The nurse advocacy groups should target the public in the state, and select representatives who can act on the behalves of these groups to survey the opportunities as well as risks associated with the bill. The collected information should guide training processes as well as activities focused on helping create and implement public awareness campaign (Wright & Jaffe, 2014). Accordingly, the public will become sensitized on the benefits associated with the improvement of the nurse to patient ratio.
Bill H.4228 (2014). An Act Relative to Patient Limits in All Hospital Intensive Care Units. Retrieved from https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/H4228.
Wright, A. C., & Jaffe, K. J. (2014). Six steps to successful child advocacy: Changing the world for children. Los Angeles : SAGE.
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