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Hospital staffing bill advances in Legislature

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A compromise bill to track and study how patient care units are staffed has now gained the backing of both Minnesota hospitals and nurses.

The Associated Press reports that the measure, which cleared a Senate committee, stops short of unionized nurses' goal of mandatory staffing levels. Hospitals have objected to staffing ratios.

Under the bill, hospitals would be required to develop core staffing plans for each care unit, created in consultation with nurses and other medical professionals. Hospitals would be required to make quarterly reports on direct care hours.

A companion bill won approval Thursday in a House health committee. Slight differences in the bills remain to be worked out. The plan requires ratification by the full Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton.

The plan still needs ratification by the full Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to take effect.

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