Assemblymember Bronson: Safe Staffing Legislation a Win for Health Care Workers, Vulnerable New Yorkers

Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced that he helped pass legislation that prioritizes the health and safety of New Yorkers by setting safe staffing standards at hospitals and nursing homes statewide.

“The heroic, tireless work of nurses and direct care staff have been instrumental in our fight against COVID-19,” said Bronson. “Unfortunately, this pandemic highlighted the urgent need for safe staffing levels in our health care industry that has long been ignored as the influx of patients overwhelmed the system. The legislation my colleagues and I passed will implement critical safe staffing standards at hospitals and nursing homes that will not only help improve the quality of care for our loved ones, but also promote safer working conditions for our hardworking and selfless nurses.”

The first measure Bronson helped pass would require hospitals to establish clinical staffing committees consisting of a variety of staff members who would work together to develop and oversee a safe staffing plan, including nurse-to-patient ratios and guidelines for the number of ancillary staff in each unit (A.108-B). Plans would be submitted annually to the state Department of Health (DOH). Another measure would specifically address staffing needs in nursing homes and require the DOH to establish minimum nurse staffing levels to promote the highest standards of resident health and well-being as well as enforce compliance at these facilities (A.7119).