‘Show Love to Nurses and our Patients:’ Nurses Lobby State Legislators on Pandemic Priorities this Valentine’s Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2022
Contact: Kristi Barnes | kristi.barnes@nysna.org | 646-853-4489
Carl Ginsburg | carl.ginsburg@nysna.org | 917-405-1060

Nurses Outline Plan to Address Healthcare Disparities and Quality Care through Fair Funding and Safe Staffing

New York – Nurses from the New York State Nurses Association spent the day in virtual lobby visits with New York State legislators, asking them to show some love for nurses and our patients.  

NYSNA members acknowledged that this year’s executive budget proposals on healthcare are expansive and reflect surpluses from federal aid and increased tax revenues. They also emphasized that this is a time to take bold action to address the healthcare crisis, and that the state must ensure resources go where they are needed most to address longstanding healthcare disparities and to improve healthcare facility staffing and patient care.  

NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, BSN, CCRN, said, “The nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with our entire healthcare system, have been at the breaking point for far too long. We need relief, respect, and the resources to retain nurses and provide quality care to every patient—regardless of zip code.”  

Nurses outlined a plan for equitable, quality healthcare and urged legislators to do more to hire, protect and respect nurses to ensure safe staffing and quality care. They highlighted the need to: 

  1. Address healthcare disparities through fair funding of hospitals and healthcare, including targeting resources to safety net facilities and underfunded services such as mental health and women’s health.  
  2. Provide safe staffing for all patients, including increasing funding and oversight for all hospitals to achieve safe staffing standards. 
  3. Expand the RN workforce through increased recruitment, retention efforts, and improved working conditions, including health and safety protections.   
  4. Strengthen the safety net and expand coverage to all New Yorkers, including undocumented New Yorkers.  

“The nursing shortage is really a shortage of nurses willing to work in poor conditions, where they feel unprotected, disrespected, and unable to provide the quality care patients deserve because of chronic understaffing,” said Steve Bailey, RN, NYSNA Western Regional Director. “We are asking legislators to listen to the nurses and help us address these issues.” 

NYSNA Director at Large Flandersia Jones, RN, said: “Safety-net hospitals like mine serve a disproportionate number of low income and uninsured patients who experience some of the worst health indicators and outcomes, yet we do not have the resources we need to serve our community. The legislature must strengthen and expand our safety net to ensure quality care for all.”  

To read more details about NYSNA’s budget priorities, visit nysna.org/2022budget.

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, visit nysna.org.

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.