Metro: Voting “yes” on Question 1 on the November ballot would limit the number of patients that could be assigned to each registered nurse in Massachusetts hospitals and other health care facilities.
The exact ratio of patients to nurses would depend on the facility and unit, and hospitals would face fines for violating those ratios.
This question is expected to pit the state’s health care industry against the Massachusetts Nurses Association. More than 75 percent of Massachusetts nurses believe that registered nurses (RNs) are assigned too many patients to effectively care for at one time, according to the association, and 90 percent of RNs say they don’t have enough time to “properly comfort and care for patients and families due to unsafe patient assignments.”
“This has been a long time coming, and nurses have been advocating for a YES for patient safety for decades,” said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN at the Cambridge Hospital Birth Center and president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, in a statement after the announcement that the question would appear on the ballot. “As an active bedside nurse, I see it every day on the hospital floor and I hear it every day from my colleagues across the state. It’s time for hospital executives to put patient care over profits.”