Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5902

Public Act No. 08-79

AN ACT CONCERNING HOSPITAL STAFFING.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Department" means the Department of Public Health; and

(2) "Hospital" means an establishment for the lodging, care and treatment of persons suffering from disease or other abnormal physical or mental conditions and includes inpatient psychiatric services in general hospitals.

(b) On and after July 1, 2009, each hospital licensed by the department pursuant to chapter 368v of the general statutes shall, upon request, make available to the department a prospective nurse staffing plan with a written certification that the nurse staffing plan is sufficient to provide adequate and appropriate delivery of health care services to patients in the ensuing period of licensure. Such plan shall promote a collaborative practice in the hospital that enhances patient care and the level of services provided by nurses and other members of the hospital's patient care team.

(c) Each hospital shall establish a hospital staffing committee to assist in the preparation of the nurse staffing plan required pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. Registered nurses employed by the hospital whose primary responsibility is to provide direct patient care shall account for not less than fifty per cent of the membership of each hospital's staffing committee. In order to comply with the requirement that a hospital establish a hospital staffing committee, a hospital may utilize an existing committee or committees to assist in the preparation of the nurse staffing plan, provided not less than fifty per cent of the members of such existing committee or committees are registered nurses employed by the hospital whose primary responsibility is to provide direct patient care. Each hospital, in collaboration with its staffing committee, shall develop and implement to the best of its ability the prospective nurse staffing plan. Such plan shall: (1) Include the minimum professional skill mix for each patient care unit in the hospital, including, but not limited to, inpatient services, critical care and the emergency department; (2) identify the hospital's employment practices concerning the use of temporary and traveling nurses; (3) set forth the level of administrative staffing in each patient care unit of the hospital that ensures direct care staff are not utilized for administrative functions; (4) set forth the hospital's process for internal review of the nurse staffing plan; and (5) include the hospital's mechanism of obtaining input from direct care staff, including nurses and other members of the hospital's patient care team, in the development of the nurse staffing plan.

Approved May 27, 2008