A new survey of Illlinois nurses say that hospital nurses show a large number of overworked, underpaid, understaffed and unsafe situations for the profession. Just over 500 Illinois nurses participated in a national survey led by University of Illinois researchers and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute. It asserts they face some pretty grim working conditions: nurses care for more than five patients at a time per shift, more than in some other states, and less than 20 percent feel safe on the job. The survey also found the majority of nurses say they might face retaliation for speaking up about the conditions.
20 percent of nurses in Illinois quit hospitals every year, according to the survey. The State of Illinois has long said that there is a nursing shortage in the state but has done little to address the problem. State lawmakers had two bills dealing with minimum staffing requirements and patient limits for nurses. However, both were never brought to the floor for a vote during the spring session and remain stuck in committee processes. Many hospital CEOs have come out against such requirements saying it’s a “one-size fits all” approach to a nuanced problem, according to a report from Illinois NPR. Opposition also says it would drive the costs of health care even higher for patients.