Hospital staffing law: Nurse-to-patient ratios start June 1

From left, Jennifer Burrows, RN, and Jennifer Gentry, RN.

Jennifer Burrows, RN 
Chief Executive, Providence Oregon

Jennifer Gentry, RN
Chief Nursing Officer, Providence Central Division

Dear clinicians,

We’d like to share what to expect as we look ahead to this Saturday, when nurse-to-patient ratios in Oregon’s new hospital staffing law take effect. This law is intended to improve the work environment for acute care nurses, along with outcomes for our patients.

In coming weeks, we’ll learn about the effect of the law on nurses and patients. Our highest priority continues to be ensuring safe, high-quality care, and preserving access for our community. During this time:

·         We’ll be evaluating emergency department capacity and our ability to meet our commitment of caring for our community’s needs.

·         We’ll focus on timely patient access to the appropriate level of care, which is so important to our hospitalized patients. Our patient logistics center and our integrated resource center will partner with our hospitals to support patient throughput and allocation of resources.

·         With the elimination of the “buddy break” system, we’ll be monitoring compliance to ensure every nurse has coverage for meals and breaks as scheduled. As a reminder, every nurse will need to complete the paper attestation for tracking purposes.

Early escalation of barriers or questions will help us navigate this complex law together. Please escalate in real-time through your nursing leadership chain of command to your local CNO.

We know that preparing for this law to go into effect has been a very complex process, especially for our nursing teams. Your dedication and your deep caring for the people we serve will make all the difference through this process. And we’ll continue to keep them at the heart of our decisions as we move forward.


Jennifer and Jennifer

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