Rhode Island’s highest staff to aged care resident ratio in US exceeds Australia’s 2023 target

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Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee (pictured) has signed into law the Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act, which sets the highest staff to aged care ratios in the US.

The new law will effectively require an average of at least 3.58 hours (3 hours, 34 minutes and 48 seconds) of direct nursing per aged care resident, per day, starting on 1 January 2022, and 3.81 hours (3 hours, 48 minutes and 36 seconds) starting on 1 January 2023, which Governor McKee and nursing unions agree is the highest staff-to-patient ratio in the nation.

In Australia, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced in the 2021 Federal Budget, from 2023, staff will be required to spend at least 3 hours and 20 minutes a day with each aged care resident with at least 40 minutes of that time with a registered nurse.

The US State of Rhode Island is having the same staffing issues as Australia. Where to find the staff required?

The Rhode Island Health Care Association said the law attempts to legislate “the impossible.”

“It sets a staffing mandate that requires the hiring of over 800 new employees when our homes already cannot meet existing job demand,” Association President and CEO Scott Fraser said.