Hospital Intensive Care Unit Staffing Law

Massachusetts Law Updates 2014-10-07

A new law, H4228, passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor on June 26, became effective this week. The law restricts the number of patients that can be assigned to registered nurses who work in hospital intensive care units.  "...in all intensive care units the patient assignment for the registered nurse shall be 1:1 or 1:2 depending on the stability of the patient as assessed by the acuity tool and by the staff nurses in the unit, including the nurse manager or the nurse manager's designee when needed to resolve a disagreement." The state's Health Policy Commission will promulgate regulations associated with the new law.