New Jersey legislators are introducing a bill that would require nursing homes to increase staffing of certified nurse aides to a safe level. New Jersey requires nursing homes to provide 4.1 hours of care per resident each day, with additional rules for specialty care units. Assembly bill 382 would set a ratio of one CNA for every 8 residents during the day; 1:10 during the evening; and 1:16 overnight.
The proposal was supported by caregivers, consumer advocates, and experts. The nursing home industry claims that increasing staffing will hurt their profit margins.
The Assembly Human Services Committee advanced a bill to establish specific staff-to-patient ratios. It would enact regulations supporters say are on par with staffing levels already in place in other states. The bill would not affect requirements for LPNs, RNs or other nursing home employees.
In her testimony, SEIU vice president Milly Silva told committee members their state ranks 44th in the nation for staff-to-patient ratios.
“These statistics are alarming and should serve as a wakeup call,” she said.