Legislation designed to protect US nurses from getting injured when lifting patients has come closer to being enforced, after being approved by registered nurses across the country.

The US Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2009, reintroduced by Rep John Conyers, aims to implement a standard to eliminate manual lifting of patients by direct-care registered nurses by using mechanical devices.

United American Nurses (UAN) President Ann Converso said that the organisation is confident about subsequent approval by President Obama.

“Protecting the health and well-being of nurses makes good sense for patients, too,” she said.

“Injured nurses can’t properly care for patients, and RNs [Registered Nurses] deserve better than putting themselves and their livelihoods at risk to deliver care.”

The legislation also protects RNs through refusal of assignment and whistleblower provisions and audits by the Secretary of Labor.

UAN is supporting the legislation and worked with Conyers to provide RN inputs on this critical bill.

It is positive about its approval by US President Barack Obama.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, direct care RNs get injured at a higher rate than labourers, movers and truck drivers due to repositioning, moving and lifting patients.