Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratio
- Nurse-Patient Ratio: This bill institutes the ratio of the reasonable number of nurses to the patients in the unit. No nurse should be assigned more patients than it is indicating. Health institutions found to be violating this law are immediately penalized (Aiken et , 2010).
- Nature of units: An intensive care unit will require a ratio of one nurse to two patients for safe handling during an operation; on the other hand, it would require a ratio of one nurse to one patient. (Aiken et , 2010).
- No averaging: Determination of the ratios is based on the number of patients that have to be taken care of by a registered nurse. The ratios have to be constant for both day and night shifts instead of being the average (Aiken et , 2010).
- Assistive personnel is not included in the ratio: Hospitals should not include it in the Nurse-Patient The ratio only recognizes the services of trained registered nurses (Aiken et al., 2010).
- Assistive personnel qualification: In accordance to this rule, hospitals have to employ only a specified amount of assistive personnel to eliminate the temptation of their inclusion in the ratio (Aiken et , 2010).
- Staff for acuity: Hospitals have to determine the ratio with respect to the needs of the patient. High acuity patients will require a higher number of nurses compared to the ones that are less demanding (Aiken et , 2010).
- Staff Operations Plan: Making this plan is the key to ensuring that the ratio balances according to all the factors (Aiken et , 2010).
- Public disclosure: The hospital has a duty to disclose its staff’s nursing patients’ capacity to the public. Such strategy will encourage more hospitals follow the code and employee a feasible Nurse-Patient Ratio. (Aiken et , 2010).
My Strategies to Influence Votes
Before designing strategies to win votes for setting a nurse-patient ratio, the factors to consider include knowing whether the procedures are efficient and timely. I will employ the use of five strategies in an attempt to win the votes (Abood, 2007). The first strategy is an entrance into the field of the legislature. Since the legislature is the body that makes the law, it is essential that one makes an effective entry into this arena. The second strategy is to have a deep knowledge of the steps followed in the process. Many people fail in their attempts to make significant changes in the health sector merely because they do not follow the right steps to do so. By understanding what measures should be taken, one will be in a better position to bring about a required change. The third strategy is involving professional working in the underlying field. The main reason for using this approach is that they can help in situations where power and influence are needed. We cannot ignore the fact that power plays an important role in such ventures. If we overlook this fact, we can run into a risk of failing. The fourth strategy involves understanding the committees working principles that play a significant role in policy making, as well as educating the masses about the need to have a particular ratio, which will not only relieve nurses from the burden of workloads but will also ensure an improvement in service delivery (Abood, 2007). The final strategy is connected with legislators. Such affiliation is important since through it the passage of information is made easier. The legislators will then understand the reasoning behind the push for the adoption of the proposed law (Blais,Hayes, Kozier, & Erb, 2010).
The detailed and careful use and explanation of these strategies is essential. It will also help in determining which ones would be more applicable for the utilization as well as the ones for the state level implementation. The first strategy was ensuring the successful entry into the legislative arena. Such approach is best suited for the local level since it involves regular citizens in arranging meetings with their legislatures. It is indeed the first step in a major policy change. At this stage, citizens will meet with committees and give testimonies about the various issues they want to be addressed. The testimonies have to be convincing enough to grab the attention of the legislatures. People should complain about the unfair treatment they receive in situations where there are very few nurses in the hospitals looking after large number of patients. They should try convincing the policy makers that there is a the need to have safe patients, and introduce a nursing legislation that will go a long way in reducing mortality rates. The second strategy was, knowing the required steps of the underlying of law (Abood, 2007). Entering the legislative arena is not enough on its own. Understanding the procedure that hast to be used is a crucial point in such situations. The strategy applies to the state level. It is important to know the steps, which will move one from stating the problem to designing a viable program that can provide the needed solution. The issues as presented to the public, leading to the successful introduction of a bill in short timeframes. The bill is further being delegated to a committee, and after a series of hearings, it takes the action on the way of passing the bill. It is at this stage that the legislation is brought to the Parliament for debates and discussions, followed by the final voting into law (Tevington, 2011).
The third strategy was getting to know the key players in the field. Those are the people who have the ability to influence the outcome of the legislation process. The merits of the issues raised in determining the nurse-patient ratio are not enough at the voting stage. At this point, the contribution of the key players is essential. Identifying those who might support the bill as well as those who will not is necessary for knowing whom to convince and whom to ask for additional help. The method is mostly applicable to the state level since it involves the whole conducting the whole legislature procedure. At the local level, however, nurses must be encouraged to take one stand on the matter. By being a united front, there is absolutely no reason their legislators would not take the issue seriously. The fourth approach was understanding the committees. This system is mostly applicable at the local level because the committees will be listening to views presented by the people. Following the committees, nurses will tend to use the powers of the chairperson in controlling the work of the whole committee . The chairperson will then negotiate with other members to include the issues raised by the nurses into the agenda and consider them as a potential bill. Nurses have the opportunity to testify and convince the committee members. Nurses’ organizations will have a chance to provide factual evidence in most instances. As such, all issues raised, be it increasing the nurse workforce or improving services, must be taken to the organizations so that they may be subsequently communicated to the Committees (Blais et al., 2010).
The final strategy is a direct communication with the legislators. It is an approach applicable to the state level since it involves making them understand the issues as put forth in the bill. Not all legislators are nurses; as such, they will not be knowledgeable about most of the issues raised. Breaking the issues down in a clear and comprehensible manner is vital to ensuring that they vote positively for the bill. Experts are useful at this stage as they will explain the details to the legislators and convince them to back the bill. If the legislators become well informed on the law, it is easier for them to pull other legislators who are on the opposing teams on their side.
Increasing My Power to Influence Votes
So that I may improve my ability to influence more votes for the bill, there are some strategies, which will be useful. The strategies include, among others, joining an organization such that we have a stronger and more credible say in the challenges that we face as nurses. Networking with the main players in the legislation process is yet another action plan, and finally increasing my credentials is another sure way of boosting my influence to drum up support for more votes.
The first strategy is greatly backed by the saying: “There is power in numbers.” When nurses come together for a common cause, the likelihood of succeeding tends to be high. Nurses , being the single largest group in the health sector in terms of sheer numbers, have the ability to influence and support major reforms in the health care system. Therefore, by joining an entity that champions the rights of nurses and patients, I will be making the team even stronger. Even if it means intimidating the top leadership with threats of losing votes in the elections to drive our agenda through, we are prepared to do it (Tevington, 2011).
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Networking with the key players in the legislation process will not only make them understand the issues better, but it will force them to influence the other legislatures to vote for the bill. The final strategy is increasing my credentials. Using this approach, I must change the way people view the nursing profession to make them admire it more and advocate for the legislation about the need of the introduction of a nurse-to-patient ratio. Another way to increase my credentials is through using the expert power. When nurses express their knowledge and demonstrate their professional skills, it is easier for people to trust them. When one increases the overall confidence of the system, it makes legislators aware of the need to pass the bill for improved health care services.