Bill would require RN on duty at all times

The American Nurses Association recently announced its support for a bill that could require nursing homes to have a registered nurse on duty around the clock, every day of the week.

The ANA joined the Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations and Consumer Voice in advocating for “The Put A Nurse in the Nursing Home” bill during a congressional staff briefing May 28.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in July 2014. The quality of care for nursing home residents would improve if an RN were on duty at all times, Schakowsky explained. 

Supporters of the bill say the current eight-hour-per-day on-duty requirement for nursing home RNs isn't enough to ensure safety and quality of care as residents' needs increase.

According to advocates of the bill, the on-duty RN would be available to create care plans and evaluate and treat residents who were recently discharged from the hospital or are at risk for readmission. 

The ANA also said there should be more RNs in long-term care settings, because the Medicare population is projected to increase dramatically in coming years.