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Hospital Nurse Staffing Standards

Concerning the preparedness of health facilities to meet patient needs, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2022 Regular Session
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

The bill requires every hospital to establish, by September 1, 2022, a nurse staffing committee pursuant to rules promulgated by the state board of health, either by creating a new committee or assigning the nurse staffing functions to an existing hospital staffing committee. The nurse staffing committee is required to create, implement, and evaluate a nurse staffing plan and to receive, track, and resolve complaints and receive feedback from direct-care nurses and other staff.

The bill requires a hospital to:

  • Submit the nurse staffing plan to the department of public health and environment (department) on an annual basis;
  • Post the nurse staffing plan on the hospital's website;
  • Evaluate the nurse staffing plan on a quarterly basis and, based on complaints and recommendations of patients and staff, revise the nurse staffing plan accordingly; and
  • Prepare a quarterly report containing the details of the evaluation.

The bill prohibits a hospital from assigning direct-care providers to a nursing unit or clinical area of a hospital unless the providers are properly trained in the unit or area assigned.

On or before September 1, 2022, in a form and manner determined by rules promulgated by the state board of health, each hospital is required to report:

  • The baseline number of beds the hospital is able to staff; and
  • The hospital's current bed capacity.

If the hospital's ability to meet staffed-bed capacity falls below 80% of the required baseline in a specified period, the hospital is required to notify the department and submit a plan to meet that requirement.

The bill requires the department to notify a hospital if the hospital's number of staffed beds exceeds 80% of a hospital's total licensed beds and fine the hospital if the hospital does not take corrective action.

Each hospital is required to update its emergency plan at least annually and as often as necessary, as circumstances warrant.

The bill authorizes the department to fine a hospital up to $10,000 per day for the hospital's failure to:

  • Meet the required staffed-bed capacity;
  • Include the amount of necessary vaccines for administration in its annual emergency plan and have the vaccines available at each of its facilities; and
  • Include the necessary testing capabilities available at each of its facilities.

The bill grants rule-making authority to the department and to the state board of health.

The bill requires the department to report certain data to its committee of reference as part of its presentation at the hearing held pursuant to the "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act".

The bill requires the office of saving people money on health care in the office of the lieutenant governor to study:

  • The level of preparedness of health facilities to respond to post-viral illness resulting from the COVID-19 virus;
  • The effects of post-viral illness resulting from the COVID-19 virus on the mental, behavioral, and physical health and the financial security of the people of Colorado; and
  • The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cost of health care in Colorado and on the resiliency of Colorado's public health system.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)


Became Law


Bill Text