Statement: MONL Applauds Legislation that will Protect Nurses from Violence in the Workplace

Gov. Whitmer today signed House Bills 4520 and 4521, bipartisan legislation that will increase penalties for violence committed against nurses and healthcare workers, keeping them safe while providing care for Michigan’s residents. The following statement can be attributed to Kim Meeker, MBA, RN, BSN, president of the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership (MONL) and chief nursing officer and vice president of Henry Ford Health.

“Michigan’s unacceptable reality is that nurses are leaving the profession at an alarming rate due to fear of violence. HB 4520 and 4521 provide long overdue protections so nurses and healthcare professionals can continue to do their jobs and provide the best possible care for patients. No nurse should feel like they’re risking their life for simply doing their job caring for patients, and these bills are a tremendous step in the right direction toward a safer healthcare industry for healthcare professionals and patients alike.”

Read more here. 

Action Alert: Harmful Nurse Staffing Ratio Legislation Introduced in the Michigan Legislature

Michigan Senate Bills 334 – 336 and House Bills 4550 – 4552 propose harmful registered nurse (RN) staffing requirements that would damage healthcare and communities by restricting important access to healthcare services for Michigan patients.

Hospital nurse staffing is a collaborative process, and a mandated, fixed ratio does not allow for the essential flexibility or innovation within care teams at the local level. Mandated ratios dictate a simplistic formula that does not consider the numerous factors that impact the level of staffing a patient should receive. Requiring hospitals to hire even more nurses when the supply does not exist will be extremely harmful to hospitals and their ability to offer healthcare services to their communities.

Overall, the legislation will limit the number of patients hospitals can care for in their communities, prolong the time it takes for a patient to receive care and hinder the ability of hospitals to respond to a crisis in fear of violating Michigan law.

Rather than enacting a one-size-fits-all mandate, these solutions should be implemented to solve nurse staffing shortages:

  • Michigan joining the national Nurse Licensure Compact to reduce barriers for out-of-state nurses to move to and practice in Michigan immediately.
  • Increasing eligibility for Michigan Reconnect by lowering the age requirement to 18 and older.
  • Expanding Michigan Reconnect availability to include 4-year institutions.
  • Increasing penalties for violence committed against healthcare workers.

How you can help: Urge your legislators to oppose the bills

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