Boston, MA - The staffing question that is to be in this year’s ballots regarding the nurse-to-patient ratios amongst hospitals and nursing homes is still undecided by nurses; 48% of nurses are stating that they’ll be voting “yes” on the question, whereas 45% of nurses are stating that they’ll be voting “no.” Approximately 7% of nurses are undecided or decided not to state their stance.
All of this information has been acquired through a poll conducted by WBUR. During this poll, 500 registered nurses were asked where they stand when it comes to voting for the future possible state law. According to Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group, nurses seem to be split on their decision.
As for the reason of why registered nurses are split or undecided on the ballot question, no one fully knows or understands. A theory provided by Koczela was that all nurses have different experiences in different environments, leading them to think a “yes” or a “no” answer is the right way to go. In other words, nurses that are more apt to vote “no” to the ballot question are probably very happy in their job; they usually tend to not feel overloaded, and they’re less likely to have negative consequences if the nurse-to-patient ratio goes up. On the other hand, nurses that would answer “yes” to the ballot question are the polar opposite; they’ve probably had difficulty working in their field or they’ve experienced bad outcomes of high nurse-to-patient ratios.
One registered nurse came forward to tell a short version of her story. She stated that getting a higher nurse-to-patient ratio would really be what’s best for the patients themselves. According to Nurse Kelly (she did not want her last name to be revealed), there’s no better way to show patients that they really matter than to staff an adequate amount of nurses to tend to all patients needs.
As of now, there’s no consensus among nurses stating what ratio is best for the patients, but that’s something to be handled after the ballot question is voted for.