News & Events

New Law In Effect This Week Guarantees Safer Patient Care for Critically Ill Patients

Setting Safe Maximum Patient Limits for Nurses in all Intensive Care Units

MNA Launches TV and Radio Ad Campaign to Raise Public Awareness of the Law

CANTON, Mass. – Beginning this week, critically ill patients in Massachusetts hospitals will be guaranteed safer care and closer monitoring from registered nurses as a new law goes into effect that sets safe patient limits for registered nurses who work in all the state’s hospital intensive care units. The law requires that no nurse can be assigned more than one patient or in certain circumstances, a maximum of two patients based on the assessment of the nurses on that unit. (The full text of the law can be found at the end of this release)

The new law, An Act Relative to Patient Limits in All Hospital Intensive Care Units, was signed by Governor Deval Patrick on June 30 after passing with unanimous votes in the House and Senate becomes effective as of Sept. 29, 2014, 90 days following the signing.

"This is an important patient safety measure for the most critically ill patients providing them with one-on-one attention from their registered nurse when they need it most,” said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN, president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United. “It is important for the public to be aware of this new measure as their health and safety in the hospital is directly related to the number of patients assigned to their nurse.”

To help educate the public about the new law, the MNA/NNU has launched a TV and radio ad campaign to alert the public about the law and to advise them to ask how many other patients their nurse is being assigned. (View TV ad