Governor Phil Murphy (NJ-D) signed legislation today that would increase New Jersey’s nursing home staffing levels starting next year.
The reform law (S2712) establishes a minimum staff to resident ratio and would increase the number of caregivers facilities must have working on all shifts. The law was enacted after an investigation criticized the state’s management of the Coronavirus in nursing homes. Bolstering nursing home staffing levels was a key recommendation of the report.
“These long-sought reforms will help bring accountability to the industry and protect residents, staff, and family members with a loved one living in a long-term care facility,” declared Governor Murphy in a published statement.
Families for Better Care has been overly concerned about New Jersey’s woefully inadequate staffing levels for years. The organization’s most recent nursing home report card gave the Garden State an F after the state’s direct care staffing measure dropped to its lowest ranking in any report, coming in at 45th overall. But this new law is what nursing home residents need and should be replicated in states that have no minimum staffing requirements.
“New Jersey should be proud of this nursing home staffing reform,” said Brian Lee, Families for Better Care’s executive director. “Increased staffing on the frontlines will result in better overall care for residents; safer working conditions for staff; and fewer fines, citations, and lawsuits for the industry.”