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Proposed Law Set to Increase RN Time with Patients in Illinois Nursing Homes

On Tuesday, a proposal to be considered by the Illinois General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules would require 20 percent of the “nursing and personal care” provided daily for each nursing home resident to be provided by a registered nurse (RN).

Advocates for the proposal cite the benefits of having registered nurses on staff. RNs are better equipped to spot changes in residents’ health and take action.

The requirement works out to be about 46 minutes of RN time allotted to each State of Illinois nursing home resident each day.

The proposal carries fines for homes that fail to meet its requirements.

Approval of the proposal is far from certain. Those in opposition to it cite the increased cost of having RNs on staff for longer periods of time. Others claim it would be just as beneficial to increase the number of lesser-trained workers and would cost the State, and taxpayers, much less.

The Illinois General Assembly will examine the proposal in Tuesday’s session.

The State Journal Register, “Illinois Nursing Homes at Odds Over RN Requirements”. March 3, 2012, created by Dean Olsen.