Nurses ask for legislative support to address burnout, turnover driving higher health care cost
Nurses want lawmakers to consider how burnout and turnover lead to high health care costs for hospitals and patients. The state nurses association is advocating for a chance to be a part of the decision making process for staffing plans.
The Indiana State Nurses Association submitted written testimony last week to the state’s Health Care Cost Oversight Task Force, and said improving working conditions for nurses can reduce overall health care costs.
Rhonda Cook, a lawyer and lobbyist who represented the ISNA at the second meeting of the task force, said current staffing practices are making burnout and turnover worse.
“As facilities cut nurses, it leads to further nurse shortages because patient to nurse ratios increase and longer work hours are usually required and nurses then suffer from burnout,” Cook said.
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The ISNA is asking lawmakers to reintroduce a bill from last session that requires hospitals to establish staffing councils that include working nurses in the development of staffing plans. The bill would also prohibit hospitals from requiring nurses to work “mandatory overtime.”
“We think that putting these types of measures in place will allow nurses to have a better work life balance and will address nurse burnout and keep them in their jobs,” Cook said.
Cook said these “safeguards” could protect nurses from burnout and prevent the turnover that leads to higher costs.
Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.