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ANA Commends Introduction of the Nurse Overtime and Patient Safety Act


SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) commends the bicameral effort to introduce the Nurse Overtime and Patient Safety Act. On March 5, 2024, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA-07) and Jen Kiggans (R-VA-02) announced the introduction of this legislation, which would limit mandatory overtime for nurses by barring hospitals and health systems from requiring nurses to work additional hours, mandating nondiscrimination protections to safeguard nurses from retaliation, and enforcing penalties for any violations.

“Legislation that improves the working conditions of our nation’s nurses is a national imperative. We are pleased Congress introduced this act and urge quick action to positively impact nurses and their patients by way of reasonable restriction in the use of mandatory overtime,” said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

Mandatory overtime is unsafe for nurses and for their patients. ANA has and continues to advocate for safe workplace standards so their well-being is prioritized and so patients can access and receive high-quality care. ANA firmly believes that mandatory overtime is an unacceptable solution to appropriate staffing levels. Policies on shift length, management of meals and rest periods, and overtime should be enacted to protect the health and well-being of nurses.

“There is no singular fix to the problems facing the nursing workforce. Rather, improving the lives of nurses demands a national dialogue and ongoing legislative efforts. This act is an example of how powerful collaboration between health care leaders and Congress can be in the effort to adequately support the nation’s nurses and the patients they care for,” said ANA Acting CEO/CNO Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN.

Insufficient nurse staffing jeopardizes patient safety and negatively impacts nurses across the country. ANA continues to support the nation’s more than 5 million registered nurses through addressing the need to improve the nurse workforce environment through safe staffing standards. To learn more and stay up to date on ANA’s legislative priorities,  visit 


About the American Nurses Association

TheAmerican Nurses Association(ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's more than 5 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information,

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