New standards for RNs and patient protection

Submitted by ADonahue on

(Video) United to protect our profession and our patients

NNOC/NNU contracts have created new standards for RNs and patient protection. A crucial part of quality patient care is reversing the trend of inadequate hospital staffing that is putting patients at risk and driving nurses out of the profession. NNOC/NNU representation provides RNs with the tools to have a real voice in patient care decisions, which we use to create safer health care facilities to protect our patients, our licenses, and ourselves. NNOC/NNU contracts include nondiscrimination language related to work, such as seniority, age, race, and gender.

Staffing ratios protections

NNOC/NNU contracts often contain one or more of the following safe staffing protections:

  • Ratios: The golden standard
  • Staffing based on patient acuity
  • Advocacy
  • Enforcement (arbitration)
  • Break relief RNs who don’t count toward the staffing matrix
  • Prohibition on cancelling nurses if that causes the unit to be out of compliance with the staffing matrix

Professional Practice Committees

NNOC/NNU contracts negotiate staff RNcontrolled committees with the authority to document unsafe practices and the power to make real changes. The Professional Practice Committee (PPC) is an elected, staff RN committee with representatives from every major nursing unit. The PPC meets in the hospital on paid time and tracks unsafe conditions through an independent documentation system called Assignment Despite Objection (ADO).

Safe lift policies

  • Contract language to ensure safer lift practices, including “appropriately trained and designated staff” to assist with patient handling, available 24 hours a day

Technology won’t replace RN judgment

  • Precedent-setting language that prevents new technology from displacing RNs or RN professional judgment

Floating policy improvements

  • Floating not required outside the RN’s clinical area
  • No floating allowed unless RN clinically competent
  • Limits on floating if the sending unit does not comply with the mandated staffing matrices

Ban on mandatory overtime

  • Prevents nurses working when they are exhausted, endangering patients

Charge RN

  • Not counted in the staffing matrix. Has the authority to increase staffing as needed

Paid education leave

  • Up to 12 days per year

Resource RNs

  • RNs who are not given a patient care assignment or counted in the patient acuity mix, available to assist RNs as needed on their units