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Nurse Staffing

ONA Passes Improvements to Oregon’s Nurse Staffing Law

Thanks to nurses’ support, ONA successfully passed a new hospital nurse staffing law (Senate Bill 469) during the 2015 legislative session. The new law is based on the work of ONA’s staffing law review group and follows recommendations for changes that ONA’s House of Delegates unanimously approved in 2014.

The new staffing law ensures that nurse staffing committees have the final say in hospital’s staffing plans, increases state-run staffing investigations and audits, enhances transparency, establishes reasonable limits on mandatory overtime, and creates a mediation process for staffing committees to resolve impasses, among other important changes.

Oregon Nurse Staffing Law

The Oregon Nurse Staffing Law ensures that our citizens, when hospitalized in an acute care facility, will receive safe patient care based on sufficient nurse staffing.

Key changes to Oregon’s Hospital Nurse Staffing Law include:

  • Clarifying that hospital nurse staffing committees’ plans must be implemented by hospitals
  • Creating a more thorough review process for staffing plans
  • Establishing reasonable limits on the use of mandatory overtime
  • Publicly posting information about the law and how to report violations on all hospital units
  • Creating a statewide advisory board to study staffing trends and make recommendations to the state
  • Establishing a mediation process to resolve staffing committee disagreements
  • Increasing state-led audits of hospitals’ compliance with the staffing law

You can learn more about the new Oregon nurse staffing law in the following documents:



Contact ONA

If you have questions about Oregon's Nurse Staffing Law or would like to inquire about scheduling a training, please contact ONA via email at

The Oregon Nurse Staffing Law

Nurse Staffing Resources

Nurse Staffing Committees

Recognizing a Staffing Problem

ANA’s Nurse Staffing initiatives

Staffing Request & Documentation Forms

ONA has provided a means by which staff nurses could report when nurse staffing on their unit/shift is insufficient and/or unsafe since 1997. The report is part of the ethical obligation of nurses to report when provision of "safe patient care” is, at the least, not supported or at the most, impossible.

When a nurse on a shift is faced with staffing which is imminently or potentially unsafe according to the various causes of unsafe staffing, it is intended that the nurse a) notify someone in the chain of command, b) ask for additional staff, and c) ask for a response in a reasonable period of time, e.g., minutes, hours. The diagnostic reasoning based on professional practice is conducted as to the cause. Following this, the nurse assumes the patient care load as assigned, asking for help as he/she needs. At the end of the shift, or within 48 hours, the nurse completes the form, files it with the nurse manager, PNCC, and ONA. The data on the SRDF forms is converted to statistics, and reports are generated.

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Oregon Nurses Association
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(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only)