Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Legislation Requiring Round-the-Clock RN Coverage Introduced in Congress: A Step Towards Better Nursing Home Care

The Consumer Voice applauds the introduction of H.R. 5373, the Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on July 31st. The bill would require all nursing homes receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid reimbursement to have a registered nurse (RN) on duty twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week. Although most people believe RNs are already required round-the-clock, this is not the case. Under current federal law, nursing homes are only required to have a RN eight hours each day regardless of facility size – no matter how many residents they have or how sick they are.

Registered nurses play a critical role in the nursing home. RNs are the only nurses in a nursing home that can assess a resident’s condition. The absence of RN staffing for up to 16 hours each day means there is no one present capable of assessing and responding when residents’ medical conditions suddenly change or deteriorate. When not properly assessed, changes in condition can have serious and even fatal consequences. In addition, residents are entering nursing homes from hospitals “quicker and sicker,” and their overall care needs have increased over time.
According to Richard Gelula, Executive Director of the Consumer Voice, “H.R. 5373, the Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act, is a simple and straight-forward solution that will help improve the quality of long-term care within our nation’s nursing homes. We have long known that the current federal requirement of eight hours of RN presence per day is woefully inadequate to meet residents’ care needs and applaud Congresswoman Schakowsky for her leadership on this crucial policy change.”

Advocacy for H.R. 5373 is part of the Consumer Voice’s Nursing Home Staffing Campaign. To learn more about the Campaign or to join, go to

Source:  Email notification from The Consumer Voice


Thelma said...

Much needed legislation.

Finny said...

I would have thought this would be a common sense issue.