HB 2697 Caps nurse to patient ratio

Signed into law by Gov. Kotek on 7-31-23, effective immediately

Status (overview) of bill:  https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Measures/Overview/HB2697

This bill would require hospitals to submit “staffing plans” to the Oregon Health Authority within three months of its passage, or risk harsh penalties. The bill could radically overhaul Oregon’s nurse staffing law and make it among the first in the nation to create nurse-to-patient ratios.

In the midst of staffing shortages across the medical field, this bill takes us in a very wrong direction with a one-size-fits-all approach that small, rural hospitals would suffer under.

Nurses may think this bill will get them more help, but when 64% of Oregon hospitals are operating in the red, this added cost will produce the opposite.

Hospitals can’t find the staff, so what good is enacting staffing ratios, increasing staffing committees from one to four, imposing binding arbitration, when there isn’t enough staff to go around. It seems that staff forced out when Covid vaccinations were mandated, aren’t willing to return even if the mandate is lifted.

The bill posses high civil penalties of $10,000 for each day the unit is staffed below standards, plus $200 for each missed meal or rest break. Hospitals will be forced to limit patients in order to comply. This is not the answer to better health care.


  1. BJ says:

    Brilliant. Now what do the hospitals do if they don’t have enough nurses; refuse to take more patients who are in need of hospitalization? Great job to those legislators who voted Aye: AndersonAye, CamposAye, DembrowAye, FrederickAye, BlouinAye, GoldenAye, GorsekAye, JamaAye, KnoppAye, LieberAye, Manning JrAye, MeekAye, PattersonAye, ProzanskiAye, SollmanAye, SteinerAye, TaylorAye, WoodsAye, President WagnerAye

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