Nurse leaders at the 19th International Council of Nurses Workforce Forum issued a warning Oct. 28 that unsafe nurse staffing levels pose a risk to patients and society.
After a September gathering of nurse leaders from nine countries in Dublin, Ireland, the ICN Workforce Forum emphasized the contributions of nurses through cost-effective planning and delivery of quality-assured healthcare services in all settings. In a communiqué on the ICN website (www.icn.ch/images/stories/documents/pillars/sew/Communique_WFF_2013.pdf), the forum group called for governments and employers to protect communities by providing safe nurse staffing levels to ensure quality-assured patient outcomes.
Forum delegates expressed growing concerns about the effects of budget cuts, staffing moratoriums and eroding workplace conditions on patient and worker safety. In the communiqué, they call on all governments to make evidence-based decisions to ensure required nursing numbers, which will lead to positive patient outcomes and safe working practices. Delegates also encouraged nurse leaders to speak out and take action in the interest of patients and nursing care. They called for all nurses to draw attention to unsafe working conditions and other barriers to safe care.
The ICN Workforce Forum is part of the International Council of Nurses, a group of more than 130 national nurses associations representing millions of nurses worldwide. The Workforce Forum meets annually to discuss trends affecting nurses capacity to deliver safe and effective patient care. This years forum topics included safe staffing levels, the 24/7 work environment within the continuum of care and the economic value of nurses to society.
Past Nurse.com coverage of the International Council of Nurses views on safe staffing levels: http://news.nurse.com/article/20130725/NATIONAL06/107290022/0/frontpage#.Um_ihhASvcs