Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2005)
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Nurse" means a registered nurse or a practical nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 378 of the general statutes, or a nurse's aide registered pursuant to chapter 378a of the general statutes; and
(2) "Hospital" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 19a-490 of the general statutes, as amended.
(b) No hospital may require a nurse to work in excess of a predetermined scheduled work shift, provided such scheduled work shift is determined and promulgated not less than forty-eight hours prior to the commencement of such scheduled work shift. Any nurse may volunteer or agree to work hours in addition to such scheduled work shift but the refusal by a nurse to accept such additional hours shall not be grounds for discrimination, dismissal, discharge or any other penalty or employment decision adverse to the nurse.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply: (1) To any nurse participating in a surgical procedure until such procedure is completed; (2) to any nurse working in a critical care unit until such nurse is relieved by another nurse who is commencing a scheduled work shift; (3) in the case of a public health emergency; (4) in the case of an institutional emergency, including, but not limited to, adverse weather conditions, catastrophe or widespread illness, that in the opinion of the hospital administrator will significantly reduce the number of nurses available for a scheduled work shift, provided the hospital administrator has made a good faith effort to mitigate the impact of such institutional emergency on the availability of nurses; or (5) to any nurse who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that contains provisions addressing the issue of mandatory overtime.