The website NursingWorld had an article on the need for more RNs in nursing homes.  The American Nurses Association (ANA) joined with geriatric nursing and consumer advocacy organizations today to support a federal bill to improve the quality of care for nursing home residents by requiring around-the-clock staffing by a registered nurse (RN).

ANA, the Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations and Consumer Voice advocated for passage of The Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home bill (H.R. 952), sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), at a Capitol Hill briefing for congressional staff. Spokespersons said the current RN on-duty requirement of eight hours per day is inadequate to ensure patient safety, the highest quality of care and maximum well-being for residents as the intensity and complexity of nursing home residents’ care needs continue to increase.

The advocacy groups are seeking to have an RN available to create and oversee the plan of care, coordinate with other health professionals and apply their expertise for all long-term care residents at all times. The presence of an RN is especially important to evaluate and treat residents recently discharged from a hospital or at risk for hospital re-admission – times that are crucial to the health of residents and potentially costly for the health care system.

Demand for placement slots and health care services, including coordination and supervision, in skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes are expected to grow significantly as the Medicare population expands. The number of individuals aging into Medicare is projected to increase from 3.3 million this year to 4 million per year in less than a decade, nearly a 20 percent annual increase. Total Medicare enrollment is projected to increase from 55.7 million this year to 81.8 million by 2030, a 47 percent growth rate.


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