S. 1031 (111th): National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act

May 13, 2009 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)
Died (Referred to Committee)
Barbara Boxer
Senator from California
Read Text »
Last Updated
May 13, 2009
40 pages
Related Bills
S. 992 (112th) was a re-introduction of this bill in a later Congress.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: May 12, 2011

H.R. 2273 (Related)
Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2009

Referred to Committee
Last Action: May 06, 2009


This bill was introduced on May 13, 2009, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced May 13, 2009
Referred to Committee May 13, 2009
Full Title

A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish direct care registered nurse-to-patient staffing ratio requirements in hospitals, and for other purposes.


No summaries available.


Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

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Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

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GovTrack’s Bill Summary

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act - Amends the Public Health Service Act to require hospitals to implement nurse-to-patient staffing plans that provide adequate, appropriate, and quality delivery of health care services and protect patient safety.
Sets forth minimum direct care registered nurse-to-patient ratios for emergency units, operating rooms, critical care units, and nursery units.
Prohibits hospitals from imposing mandatory overtime and layoffs to meet required ratios.
Requires hospitals to post a uniform notice that sets forth nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and requirements and to maintain records of actual direct care registered nurse-to-patient ratios in each hospital unit.
Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to:
(1) establish a grant program to cover the costs of purchasing safe patient handling equipment;
(2) establish procedures to allow the filing of complaints against a hospital for violations of this Act;
(3) carry out a registered nurse workforce initiative to ensure an adequate number of registered nurses and reduce critical workforce shortages in hospitals;
(4) establish nursing educational assistance grant programs; and
(5) award grants to hospitals for a five-year nursing preceptorship and mentorship demonstration project to address nurse workforce shortages, improve patient care, and promote the retention of nurses in the workforce.
Requires the Secretary of Labor to establish a federal safe patient handling standard to prevent musculoskeletal disorders for direct care registered nurses and other health care providers.
Grants nurses certain rights, including the right to act as a patient advocate and to refuse assignments that violate the requirements of this Act or for which the nurse is not prepared by education, training, or experience. Prohibits hospitals from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against a nurse for refusing a work assignment.
Amends the Social Security Act to make Medicare and Medicaid providers subject to the requirements of this Act.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

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