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New Jersey Legislators Look to Reform Nursing Home Staffing Standard

Currently, New Jersey does not have legislation that mandates the number of nursing aides that nursing homes should hire. Rather, these facilities are allowed to use their discretion on how many, or how little, aides they hire for their residents. Unfortunately, this leads to many nursing homes trying to cut corners and save money by not hiring the appropriate number of staff needed.

In a recent national survey conducted by the AARP, New Jersey ranked 49th out of 50 for preventing nursing homes. This indicates a lack of quality care provided in nursing homes, urging authorities to make new legislation to protect elderly residents in these establishments. Assemblyman Joseph Lagana and other sponsors proposed a bill that would set minimums for nursing home staffing.

The bill proposes every nursing home have:

  • One certified nursing assistant per 8 residents during the day shift
  • One certified nursing assistant per 10 residents during the night shift
  • One certified nursing assistant per 16 residents during the overnight shift

This bill will make it so that there are enough nursing staff to properly spend time and care for elderly residents in nursing homes. Currently, a resident is supposed to have at least 1.5 hour of individual care with a staff member. Unfortunately, because some facilities do not have enough workers, the existing nurses do not get the appropriate time to spend with the seniors. According to some nurse’s aides, they may have 26 to 27 residents they need to care for in an 8-hour shift.

Nurse’s aide Geraldine Ballentine says,

You are with someone and then you have to leave to help somebody else, and by the time you get there, somebody might be lying on the floor. You don’t have time for any extras — to just sit with someone who wants someone with them.

You are with someone and then you have to leave to help somebody else, and by the time you get there, somebody might be lying on the floor. You don’t have time for any extras — to just sit with someone who wants someone with them.


The bill passed senate on December 17th, but has yet to pass the House vote.

At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we believe that nursing homes should offer quality care when treating your loved ones. If they do not, they should be held responsible for their actions, or inactions. If your loved one has suffered negligence or abuse in their nursing home, contact our national elder abuse attorneys today.

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