World-first ratios research published in medical journal The Lancet on IND

Published: 12 May 2021

Queensland nurses will be celebrated as part of International Nurses Day (IND) today.
Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) Secretary Beth Mohle said IDN 2021 would recognise the hard work and valuable voices of nurses worldwide.
Ms Mohle said theme of this year’s IND was “Nurses: A Voice to Lead.” She said nurses not only provided quality care but led innovative change that saved lives and money.
She said in Queensland, nurses played an integral role in the 2016 introduction of nurse-to-patient ratios in Queensland Health (QH) hospitals. The incredibly successful findings of the Queensland ratios’ rollout will today be published in international medical journal The Lancet. International researchers said the findings should inform health policy in the United States and elsewhere. The Lancet article is available here.  
“Today, on International Nurses Day, the world will read about nurse-led, world-leading change underway in Queensland,” Ms Mohle said.
“Our nurses, and nurses world-wide, dedicate their working lives to the protection of vulnerable patients.
“They are with patients day in, day out and they know the system better than almost anyone.
“Nurses have a voice to lead and this voice must continue to be heard.”
In 2016, Queensland became just the fourth government in the world to make nurse-to-patient ratios law. 
Ms Mohle said the QNMU, QNMU members and the Palaszczuk Government should be commended for the world-leading laws and ratios' roll out.
Since the roll out began, the University of Pennsylvania and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have worked together to study the benefits of the initiative. 
“The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union and its 65,000 members campaigned long and hard for the introduction of nurse-to-patient ratios in our public hospitals,” Ms Mohle said.
“These ratios have since saved 145 lives and up to $70 million taxpayer dollars. Queenslanders should be aware of and celebrate this incredible initiative.
“This change was led by nurses who are on the frontline, both during COVID-19 and every day. The successful implementation of ratios in Queensland Health medical and surgical wards shows nurse insight can save lives and valuable tax dollars. It proves Queensland nurses have a voice to lead.”
The QNMU gained a commitment from the Palaszczuk Government at the recent state election to pilot ratios in two QH midwifery sites, two operating theatres and one offender health service. A commitment was also secured for a project to investigate new models of care and staffing ratios in (QH) Emergency Departments (ED). 
This follows on from the extension of nursing staffing ratios in QH’s acute adult mental health units and state government nursing homes that QNMU lobbied for in the 2017 Queensland election. 
The QNMU continues to campaign to see ratios made law in private aged care facilities and private hospitals. Premier Palaszczuk made nurse-to-resident ratios law in the state’s 16 government-run aged care facilities.
There is no federal law that requires even one Registered Nurse (RN) be on site in any of the nation’s 2000-plus private aged care facility at any given time. These facilities are the responsibility of the Morrison Government.
The QNMU’s celebrations of IND will include a virtual Zoom get together with members to highlight the remarkable contributions of local nurses. Ms Mohle is available for comment.

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