For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, Ext. 353
MANHATTAN, Sept. 25, 2007 – The New York State Nurses Association is urging the dismissal of charges against 10 Filipino registered nurses who were accused of endangering the welfare of patients at a Smithtown nursing home.
The RNs, who were among 27 brought to the U.S. through the Sentosa Recruitment Agency in November 2005, resigned from their positions five months later because they said the agency lied to them, exploited them, and forced them to work under unsafe conditions.
The Nurses Association has been working on behalf of the “Sentosa 27” since April 2006 – contacting the State Board for Nursing to expedite the review of the professional misconduct charges the agency brought against the nurses after their mass resignation.
Despite being cleared by the State Board for Nursing, 10 of the RNs who worked at the Avalon Gardens Rehabilitation and Health Care Center are still being prosecuted for these actions by the Suffolk County district attorney.
“Leaving their jobs was a last resort for these nurses, who believed poor staffing and inadequate training at the nursing homes were endangering patients,” said Carol Lynn Esposito, RN, a representative of the Nurses Association.
“It looked like, after failing to get the State Board to punish these nurses, the Sentosa Care owners used their political connections to do the job for them.”
The Nurses Association knows of no other case where nurses have been indicted for endangering patients when no patient harm has occurred. “It’s clear to us,” Esposito added, “that this employer wants free rein to bring nurses to this country under false pretenses, treat them like indentured servants, and threaten them with imprisonment if they don’t keep quiet and obey orders.”With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
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