New rule requires facilities to post daily nurse hours

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A new rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires skilled nursing facilities to post individual shift information and the total hours worked each day by nursing staff who are directly responsible for resident care.

The rule, which was published Oct. 28, follows a proposed rule published in February of 2004. Under the rule, facilities must record current nurse staffing numbers for each shift, as well as daily resident census. They must display the information every day in a prominent place that is accessible to residents and visitors.

Facilities must post the total number and actual hours worked by registered nurses, licensed practical or vocational nurses and certified nurses aides who are directly responsible for the care of facility residents. Facility must maintain the nurse staffing data for a minimum of 18 months or as required by state law, whichever period is greater.
The rule becomes effective Dec. 27.
(Published 11-1-05)