Nurses call for safer patient ratios

CARSON CITY — About 150 nurses from across the state rallied Thursday at the Legislature, urging lawmakers to support a proposal that would set nurse-to-patient ratios to ensure safety in hospitals.

The nurses also said they want legislators to provide whistler-blower and advocacy protection for nurses who could be put in the position of standing up to doctors, insurers or hospital executives over patient care issues.

"We need to have the same staffing standard that they have in California," said Jill Furillo of National Nurses Organizing Committee-Nevada.

The nurses want ratios that would range from one nurse to five patients in rehabilitation units to one nurse to two patients in intensive-care units and one-to-one ratios when a patient’s condition warrants it.

The nurses also said they had heard of cases in which ratios ran as high as one nurse to 10 patients in some hospitals.

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