Jill Furillo, RN

Jill Furillo, RN, BSN, PHN, is the executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, New York's largest union and professional association of registered nurses.

Furillo became a registered nurse in 1985 and has worked as an Emergency Room nurse, an organizer, the Executive Vice President of the RN Division of 1199, and the national bargaining director of National Nurses United (NNU), the largest union of registered nurses in the U.S., among other roles.

As government relations director of the California Nurses Association, Furillo successfully shepherded the country's first law setting safe nurse-to-patient ratios through the California legislature. Building on this groundbreaking legislation, Furillo worked on behalf of thousands of nurses as chief negotiator and strategist at NNU to win comprehensive safe staffing standards in collective bargaining agreements in states from Nevada to Florida.

Furillo joined NYSNA as executive director in 2012 in order to help transform NYSNA into a progressive voice and union for registered nurses throughout New York. Under her leadership, NYSNA launched a campaign to keep hospitals open, winning a moratorium on all hospital closures in the state until such time as an accurate and complete assessment of the health needs of distressed communities is carried out.

The contract win for HHC/Mayoral members is one of the most significant I have known in my 30-year career with healthcare unions.

We see it every day, in most units, on virtually every floor: patients arriving at the hospital with greater acuities and in need of comprehensive care.

We all pay sales tax – on everything from school supplies to SUVs. But missing in this revenue raising routine is a sales tax on financial transactions – trading in stocks, bonds, and derivatives. As both a matter of fairness to all taxpayers and to raise funds critical to support our communities, this void needs to be filled.

More than a dozen states have laws to varying degrees covering safe staffing. But only California requires minimum nurse-to-patient ratios be maintained at all times by unit as a matter of law. It’s been a resounding success.

A dangerous last-minute budget proposal from the governor's office would amend the Nurse Practice Act to deregulate the practice of nursing — and open the door wider to corporate-driven healthcare institutions who want to replace skilled nurses with underpaid and untrained workers. This is a direct assault on quality care and access to care.

Yesterday, more than 1,000 nurses got on buses to Albany for our Safe Staffing Lobby Day. We quickly moved into action and expanded our lobby visits so that we could respond to this attack on patient safety and nursing practice.

We doubled our planned lobby visits and met with more than 170 lawmakers and their staffers. We asked our lawmakers to support the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act and also asked for them to stand with us against any changes to the Nurse Practice Act.

NYSNA has never endorsed a candidate for Mayor in the NYC primaries — until now. For the first time in our history, the NYSNA Board of Directors unanimously voted to endorse Bill de Blasio to be New York City’s next mayor.

Pages