Nurses Balk at Staffing Compromise

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The state's largest nurses association says it is outraged by a Beacon Hill compromise on a nurse staffing bill.

WBUR's Martha Bebinger has details from the State House.

BEBINGER: Massachusetts Nurses Association director Julie Pinkham is angry that the Senate bill rejects state regulated nurse to patient ratios and substitutes staffing plans set by hospitals.

PINKHAM: That's exactly what we have now and that's exactly what's created the problem. There are patients that are having med errors, infections and injuries unnecessarily due to understaffing.

BEBINGER: The Massachusetts Hospital Association says the Senate bill goes beyond the status quo by requiring that nurses are involved in hospital staffing plans and gives the state the authority to intervene if there are problems related too few nurses. The House has already approved a bill that would set ratios, so differences would have to be resolved in a conference committee if the Senate proposal passes.

This program aired on July 17, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.