Legislative Update – UNAC/UHCP Introduces Safe Staffing Bill

June 2012

UNAC/UHCP Nurses fought for our state’s landmark Safe Staffing Law.  During Nurses Week, State Secretary/Treasurer Barbara Blake, RN, writing in the North County Times, called for passage of Senate Bill 1246.

UNAC/UHCP is again stepping up to advocate for our patients.  To shore up our Safe Staffing law, we’ve sponsored Senate Bill 1246, authored by California State Senator Ed Hernandez, a doctor of optometry. In addition to safe nurse-to-patient ratios, California law requires every acute care hospital, acute psychiatric hospital and special hospital in the state to maintain a patient classification system, to be reviewed and updated annually by a committee made up of at least half “Registered Nurses who provide direct patient care.”

Our bill would require the California Department of Public Health to verify that hospitals maintain safe staffing ratios, review and update their patient classifications systems yearly and give the department the ability to levy substantial fines for violations.  UNAC/UHCP will be fighting for our bill to become law, and will keep you informed about how you can help.