LANSING (AP) – Democrats in the state House and Senate want Michigan to become the second state to mandate nurse staffing ratios in hospitals.

The legislation would require hospitals to develop staffing plans and meet minimum nurse-to-patient ratio requirements, depending on the type of patient. It would require one nurse for every patient in intensive care units and one nurse for every four patients in pediatric units.
It would also ban mandatory overtime for nurses unless there is an emergency.

Lawmakers and the Michigan Nurses Association say low nurse staffing ratios can lead to preventable and costly patient complications, like surgical site infections and hospital induced pneumonia.

Democratic Rep. Jon Switalski of Warren says similar legislation has been introduced in Michigan since 2004 but hasn’t gained traction in the Legislature.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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