Advocacy Update

Help Increase RN staffing in Nursing Homes:
Ask your Congressperson to Co-sponsor 24-hr RN Bill

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky has introduced a bill - H.R. 5373 - calling for nursing homes to have a registered nurse (RN) on duty 24 hours a day/7 days a week! Currently, federal law only requires nursing homes receiving Medicaid and/or Medicare funding to have a RN on duty 8 hours a day/7 days a week. Now we need you to ask your U.S. Representative to sponsor the bill by September 8 when Congress returns from recess. Getting as many cosponsors as possible will help the legislation get off to a strong start. The more sponsors there are – particularly when they are both Republicans and Democrats – the more likely other House members will be to support the bill as it moves forward.

To ask your Congressperson, just click here. It’s quick and easy.

Why round-the-clock RN coverage is critical:
  • Only a RN can assess a resident’s condition. The absence of RN staffing for up to 16 hours each day means that there is no one present capable of assessing and responding when residents’ medical conditions suddenly change or deteriorate.
  • Residents are entering nursing homes from hospitals “quicker and sicker." Their care requires a high level of skill and knowledge. Registered nurses are the only nursing personnel with the education, training, and licensure to provide timely clinical assessment, appropriate medical intervention, and evaluation of nursing home residents. Other nursing home personnel such as LPN’s and geriatric nurse assistants are not trained to provide such assessments or interventions.
  • Research shows that higher RN levels improve resident care. Higher levels result in lower antipsychotic use, fewer pressure ulcers, less restraint use and cognitive decline, fewer urinary tract infections and catheterizations, less weight loss, less decrease in function and fewer unnecessary hospitalizations of nursing home residents.

Help us jumpstart this important bill that would improve the health and safety of nursing home residents nationwide.

Thanks again for your advocacy!