Senate District 20
Tim Schaffer
Antonio, Schaffer Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Patient Care, Reduce Nurse Fatigue and Poor Staffing
March 16, 2021
COLUMBUS—Today, State Senators Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve patient care by ensuring nurses are not coerced or forced into working mandatory overtime.

"When nurses are overworked, patients who rely on their care suffer," stated Schaffer. "It is time we mitigate these unnecessary risks and learn to properly plan for foreseeable staffing issues and fatigue."

Supported by the Ohio Nurses Association, proponents of the legislation have expressed concerns that nurses are overworked, and proper plans are not put into place to prevent them from being forced to work longer than is safe, posing a risk to patients across Ohio.

"This year especially has demonstrated the importance of our nurses as they have remained flexible and dedicated to their patients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic," said Antonio. "This legislation renews our commitment to frontline workers by protecting our nurses and patients.”

If passed, Ohio would join 18 other states have already made it illegal for nurses to be forced into working mandatory overtime. Studies have shown that nurses who work more than 12.5 hours during a single shift pose triple the risk of making a medical error, which can be detrimental to the health and safety of Ohioans.

“The ONA applauds the introduction of Senate Bill 129, the companion bill of House Bill 163. Nurses are professionals who are ethically-bound to assess their ability to care for their patients. If a nurse is too fatigued to provide the safe care his/her patient deserves, the nurse should have the right to refuse overtime without fear of discipline,” stated Deborah Arms, President of the Ohio Nurses Association.

Senate Bill 129 will now be referred to committee for debate and consideration.
of terms
What is session? What is a caucus? Find out about these and other commonly used terms related to the Ohio Senate.