Rhode Island Senate passed legislation requiring safe staffing levels at nursing homes. This will help overstretched staff, increase quality, and prevent delays in care. The bill requires nursing homes to have enough licensed nurses and nurses-assistants to provide 4.1 hours of direct care to each resident every day.
Both the unions that have pushed for the bill and nursing home owners agree safe staffing is needed in Rhode Island’s long term care facilities. Short-staffing is blamed on profit-seeking greedy owners.
Sen. Maryellen Goodwin was lead sponsor of the bill. She said:
“The existing staffing crisis in our nursing homes has been severely exacerbated by this pandemic. For too long, nursing home have made profits by shifting more and more work onto the caregivers and giving less direct care to residents.”
Goodwin said good nursing homes already provide more than this level of care. Others do not which give them an unfair advantage. An incentive to cut corners. An unequal playing field. The failure to have a safe minimum standard only benefits the bad nursing homes with unsafe staffing levels.