"Safe staffing cannot wait!"
That was the sum of our testimony at today's hearing with the New York Department of Health on the study for safe staffing. Read this New York Daily News article which describes some of the day's events.
NYSNA members have lobbied for years to make this bill a reality and we didn't miss the opportunity to let the Department of Health know that our patients can't wait another year to have safe staffing ratios.
Alizia McMyers, RN, of Harlem Hospital captured the spirit of what we're trying to achieve with these words: "In the Cardiac Unit a nurse may find herself alone for 11.5 hours without a bathroom or meal break. What do I tell them, it will get better? Our system works better when staffing makes sense. Young nurses would remain on the job and the process of training newly arriving RNs would not have to be repeated over and over. It is important to understand: There is a cost savings in being able to keep nurses on the job."