Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



New York bill addresses hospital, nursing home staffing levels

In light of all the troubling news stories, it is always hopeful to hear about initiatives that are trying to make the world, or at least New York, a better place. Right now, advocates in New York are fighting to increase the nurse to patient ratio at the state’s acute care hospitals. The promise is that increased nurse staffing will reduce patient complications and death and eventually reduce health care costs overall.
The advocates are pushing for a ratio of one nurse per two patients in intensive care and a ratio of one to four for regular surgical units. Improved patient care is a driving factor as well as saving hospitals money.
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is doing something along those same lines as well. The organization supports a bill that is currently in front of the state legislature. NYSNA wants required staffing ratios. The piece of legislation is a reaction to the nearly 20,000 separate protests filed last year from unionized hospitals that claimed the status quo staffing assignments were unsafe.
Hospitals in New York are generally opposed to the legislation and trend toward more staffing. Their argument is that more nurses mean spending more money with estimates of $3 billion each year for the added employees.
If the law passes, New York would become the second state ever to establish mandatory nursing staff requirements. California implemented the requirement in 2004. According to the Healthcare Association of New York State, the scope of the legislation would be an unprecedented, non-funded health care mandate. There is also concern that the law would result in diminished services elsewhere in order to make up the costs.
But it’s hard to imagine how more nurses could be a bad thing. High patient-to-nurse ratios can lead to more burnout among the staff and increased rates of patient deaths. More bedside nurses in nursing homes and other care facilities can help identify issues quickly, like signs of abuse, and spot medication errors. Not only will this help family member of nursing home residents be more confident in the level of care and attention but it may also reduce costs in another way, by preventing malpractice claims against the facility or doctors. With more attentive and less-stressed nursing staff, there may be fewer instances of abuse or patient neglect. But if there ever is a need to take legal action, talking to a New York Nursing Home Lawyer is an excellent first step.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



Recent Post

Case Results


Sexual assault of a child at a summer baseball camp


Delay in treatment of peripheral vascular disease in a 52 year old woman resulting in loss of lower limb


Scroll to Top