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Bill Would Raise Nurse Staffing Levels in DC

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File photo: A nurse attends to newborns in a hospital nursery. (credit: Patrick Lin/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo: A nurse attends to newborns in a hospital nursery. (credit: Patrick Lin/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON— New legislation in the District of Columbia would increase nurse staffing levels at the city’s hospitals.

The measure is in response to concerns about inadequate ratios of nurses to patients at some D.C. hospitals.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is expected on Tuesday to introduce the bill, which is facing opposition from hospital administrators who say it’s too expensive and doesn’t guarantee improved patient care.

The bill would require a minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratio, though the precise ratio would vary by the unit of the hospital.

Mendelson calls the bill a version of the “eight-hour day” and says it’s common sense that will lead to better care.

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