Nurse Staffing: The Illinois Experience

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARYIn March of 2008 the final rules for Illinois' Nurse Staffing by Patient Acuity Act were published.This law represents the collaborative efforts of the Illinois Nurses Association and the Illinois Hospital Association in authoring legislation which is an alternative to mandated staffing ratios and provides nurses a voice in their organization's staffing plan.The rules are not prescriptive and therefore each organization has significant latitude in operationalizing the requirements.Best practices from across the state were identified and communicated to nurse leaders through a variety of mechanisms.The Illinois experience can serve as an exemplar for other states as nursing leaders debate the question of nurse staffing with legislators.

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