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Union: Ballot Question Would Set Nurse Staffing Levels


BOSTON (AP) — A union representing Massachusetts nurses is filing a ballot initiative designed to set limits on the number of patients that can be assigned to a nurse at one time.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association says the question would also require hospitals to adjust nurses’ patients assignments based on the needs of those in their care.

Backers of the question say patient limits can reduce the number of mistakes, complications and readmissions.

The question would require one nurse for every four patients in medical or surgical units. In emergency departments, the question would require one nurse for up to three patients depending on the severity of the condition.

Critical care units would set a maximum of two patients per nurse.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association says the question would mandate one-size-fits-all nurse staffing ratios.

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