Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday signed a new health care law that would ban hospitals from requiring nurses to work mandatory overtime.
In a press release, Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United president said, "The practice of mandatory overtime is indefensible by any patient safety standard, and yet hospitals continue to increase their use of this practice."
Under the law, no nurse would be required to work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period. Hospitals that assign a nurse overtime would have to submit a report to the Department of Public Health justifying its use.
Advocates of the law say it will help provide safer environments for patients and will help control costs.