CO studies nurse role in quality of care

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (D) has signed an executive order setting up a task force to examine the nursing profession's status in the state. The Nurse Workforce and Patient Care Task Force is looking at nurses' contributions to quality of care in healthcare facilities and the state's environment for nursing practice, as well as the accuracy of quality and staffing statistics. The task force will also consider ways in which new legislation might address the state's healthcare staffing shortage, which is projected to hit 17 percent by the year 2010 and by 31 percent by 2020. (The executive order floats a few ideas for such legislation, including incentives for nursing students to stay in the state, scholarships for nurse training and steps to retain already-employed nurses.) Participants on the task force will include representatives of the Colorado Hospital Association, Colorado Nurses Association, Colorado Medical Society, Colorado Department of Public Health and four state legislators.

To get more background on the initiative:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (sub. req.)
- check out the governor's executive order (.pdf)