Report: Expanding nursing assistant responsibilities could save $400M

Public hospitals could save almost $430 million a year by expanding responsibilities for nursing assistants, allied health assistants and registered nurses (RNs), according to a new report from the Grattan Institute. Adding 17,000 nursing assistants to perform duties such as medication stocking, making beds, clerical work, and turning, feeding and bathing patients would free up RNs to focus on other duties. Furthermore, the report suggests, hospitals would run more efficiently if they allowed RNs and possibly nurse practitioners to perform endoscopies, and provide anesthesia and sedation. "Many studies show that appropriately trained nurses can provide endoscopies to at least the same level of safety, quality and patient satisfaction as doctors," the report states. Report