February 23, 2005: Maryland: Nurses push lawmakers for staffing standards:"Claiming that Maryland's severe shortage of nursing professionals could be hurting patient care, nurses yesterday urged lawmakers to institute minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for hospitals. Hospital administrators, however, said the ratios would handcuff their ability to be creative and flexible in scheduling nurses. The bill would require hospitals to submit their nurse staffing plans to the state. The ratios would vary by unit. For example, one nurse would be required for each patient in the operating room, while one nurse would be needed for every six postpartum patients. If a facility doesn't comply, or its staffing levels aren't adequate, it could face fines or loss of its license."

Andrew Lopez, RN