Good facilities provide at least 24-hour RN nursing. The time has come to ensure that all nursing homes provide this level of care and competency. That is why the provision in the Build Back Better bill that every nursing home provides, at a minimum, one RN in the building 24-hours a day is so important.
The pandemic was a wake-up call to the nation that nursing homes must be held accountable for following through on the promises they make to residents and families. The Build Back Better bill will help to ensure that promises made are promises kept. It passed in the House of Representatives last week. Now it is time for our U.S. Senators to stand up for the seniors and families in their states.
Sadly, powerful and wealthy industry lobbyists are pushing a false narrative that 24-hour RNs are just too expensive. They are claiming that it will cost over $10 billion a year, and that it would require hiring not only RNs, but also LPNs and CNAs. They are maintaining it is an “unfunded mandate.” These claims are false, false, false.
Facilities with less than 24-hour RN staffing do not need to hire a bunch of RNs. They can simply shift from LPNs to RNs to bridge the hours needed to cover the gap. To find out the true costs of 24-hour RN staffing, LTCCC conducted an analysis of facility staffing levels and computed the cost for every nursing home to provide 24-hours of RN care per day. The results of our analysis, available at www.nursinghome411.org/24-HOUR-RN, indicate that 24-hour RN staffing is possible at a fraction of the price that industry lobbyists claim.