NEW YORK NURSE: June/July 2012
by Dan Lutz
The fight to pass legislation for safe nurse-to-patient ratios is on.
Our meeting on May 17 ended with a call to renew our organization’s commitment to getting this legislation passed – and testimonials from members about the staffing crisis in hospital after hospital.
Passing this legislation will be a fight. On May 17, the Greater New York Hospital Association was ready with talking points threatening that ratios “may lead to closure of nursing units.”
We’ve got to be ready to tell our stories to the public and to state decision-makers. When nurses speak, people listen.
We know that safe staffing saves lives. And we know that every day we wait to pass this law, lives hang in the balance.
Are you ready to do your part? Fill out the pledge card on the back of this issue and send it in today.
If we all do our part, we will win the legislation we need.
6 Things Every RN Should Know About Staffing
Getting the law passed is going to take the support of thousands of RNs. The bill we need has been stuck in committee for years. It’s going to take a major mobilization to get it passed. Thousands of NYSNA members are signing up to do their part. It’s time for you to get involved. You can decide how much you want to do – but the more of us who get involved, the stronger we will be.
“As a member of the NYSNA Board of Directors, I would like to let all the good members present at this historic meeting know that the Board of Directors wants to convey its commitment to safe staffing.”
“Here’s the Board’s resolution, enacted at our January 2012 meeting:”
“Staffing ratios have been proven effective at improving patient care and protecting nursing practice.”
“The board moved that NYSNA will make the campaign for a New York staffing ratios bill the organization’s top legislative priority.”
“Now let us all leave here and make that commitment a reality.”
— Anne Bové, RN, Bellevue Hospital
“I’m representing behavioral health – over the past years, we’ve had too many nurses and non-nurses get hurt because of staffing.”
“We need a ratio IN PRINT.”
“We want to get to know our patients. We want to take care of our patients. We need the staff to do that.”
— Elishia Diallo, RN, Kings County Hospital
“This is not a Democratic problem. This is not a Republican problem. This is a nursing problem.”
— Seth Dressecke, RN, Woodhull Hospital
“Working with patients is the job of nurses. When you have a nurse with six patients and you call administration for help, this is what they say: ‘It doesn’t match the grid.’”
“Our mission as nurses is to take care of our patients safely. Please, I ask you: help us rally for safe patient ratios.”
— Kagren Gayle, RN, New York-Presbyterian
“The recent layoffs here at Westchester Medical Center – they laid off 132 nurses right before Christmas – has severely impacted staffing and patient care at the bedside.”
— Juliane Hatzel, RN, Westchester Medical Center
“I work the night shift. Sometimes the ratio of patients to nurse can be as high as 15 to one!”
“Some nurses feel the burn out. We need this law – our patients deserve the best care.”
— Shonique Huger, RN, Bronx Lebanon Hospital