Health Affairs reports on nursing issues - the House of Representatives is looking to enact the Safe Nursing and Patient Care Act of 2007 (H.R. 2122) to limit the amount of mandatory overtime a nurse may be required to work.

According to CQ HealthBeat, Stark said, “We limit the time that truck drivers and pilots can work to protect public safety,” adding, “Safe nursing is in the public interest as well.”The bill cites as evidence, a study published in Health Affairs [free access] which found that nurses who worked shifts of twelve and a half hours or more were three times more likely to commit an error than nurses who worked standard shifts of eight and a half hours or less. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Steven C. LaTourette, R-OH, and Jan Schakowsky, D-IL.

Health Affairs also has a new article that reviews surveys of nurses, physicians and hospital execs on the US nursing shortage and patient care.

“Most respondents found that the major effects of the nurse shortage to date have been in the areas of communication, nurse-patient
relationships, hospital capacity as measured in the management of bed availability, and quality of care, reflected by timeliness, efficiency, and patient-centered care.”

You can read an abstract here; full text for a mere $12.95.