SENATE, No. 1612







Sponsored by:


District 33 (Hudson)

Senator  VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)


Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Diegnan and Turner






     Establishes minimum certified nurse aide-to-resident ratios in nursing homes.



     As introduced.


An Act concerning staffing requirements for nursing homes and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    a.  Notwithstanding any other staffing requirements as may be established by law, every nursing home as defined in section 2 of P.L.1976, c.120 (C.30:13-2) or licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) shall maintain the following minimum certified  nurse aide-to-resident ratios:

     (1)   one certified  nurse aide to every eight residents for the day shift;

     (2)   one certified nurse aide to every 10 residents for the evening shift; and

     (3)   one certified nurse aide to every 16 residents for the night shift.

     b.    Upon any expansion of resident census by the nursing home, the nursing home shall be exempt from any increase in certified nurse aide staffing ratios for a period of nine consecutive shifts from the date of the expansion of the resident census.

     c.     (1) The computation of certified  nurse aide minimum staffing ratios shall be carried to the hundredth place.

     (2)   If the application of the ratios listed in subsection a. of this section results in other than a whole number of certified nurse aides for a shift, the number of required certified nurse aides shall be rounded to the next higher whole number when the resulting ratio, carried to the hundredth place, is fifty-one hundredths or higher.

     (3)   All computations shall be based on the midnight census for the day in which the shift begins.

     d.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes as may be required by the Commissioner of Health for staff other than certified nurse aides, or to restrict the ability of a nursing home to increase staffing levels, at any time, beyond the established minimum.


     2.    Pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), the Commissioner of Health shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.


     3.    This act shall take effect of the first day of the fourth month next following the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Health may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.



     This bill establishes minimum ratios for the number of certified nurse aides (CNAs) to the number of residents in nursing homes.

     Under current regulations, the Department of Health requires nursing homes to meet a minimum number of hours of direct care staff-to-resident time per day. 

     Under the bill, CNA-to-resident ratios will be as follows:

     (1)   one CNA for every eight residents on the day shift;

     (2)   one CNA for every 10 residents on the evening shift; and

     (3)   one CNA for every 16 residents on the night shift. 

     The bill sets forth a methodology for computing the appropriate ratio, and provides that a nursing home that experiences an increase in resident census is exempt from increasing the number of CNAs for nine consecutive shifts.

     Nothing in the bill would affect any other minimum staffing requirements as may be mandated by the Commissioner of Health for nursing home staff other than CNAs, and nothing in the bill would prohibit a nursing home from establishing staffing levels above the established minimum.