#NursesTakeDC movement closes on third year, continues push for safe nurse-patient ratios
For the third consecutive year, hundreds of nurses took to the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building this week as part of the #NursesTakeDC movement, whose goal is to raise public awareness of unsafe nurse-patient ratios and push legislation to regulate the issue.
I’m rallying with #nursestakedc today in front of the Capitol to demand safe staffing ratios.
Safe staffing saves lives. pic.twitter.com/yNvDjDZuJG
— Jan Schakowsky (@janschakowsky) April 26, 2018
The grassroots movement has grown each year in both the number of speakers in the industry and number of attendees who support it.
The movement’s goal is to combat unsafe staffing practices at hospitals, which contributes to nursing burnout, lower quality patient care and a higher risk of patient death, according to the Nurses Take DC website.
Several studies have gone into the impact of high nursing-patient ratios over the years. One of the most recently published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information looking at ICU patient ratios found that “exposing critically ill patients to high workload/staffing ratios is associated with a substantial reduction in the odds of survival.”
A major goal of the campaign is to lean on federal legislators to move forward with the Nurse Staffing Standards and Quality Care Act of 2017 (S. 1063 and H.R. 2392), which would amend the Public Health Service Act to establish safe nurse-patient staffing ratios across all hospitals, according to their website.
Did you know @SenSanders @BernieSanders is a sponsor of safe staffing levels!? We need more sponsors…how about @SenBooker & @SenatorMenendez ?? #S1063 #safestaffing @nursestakedc https://t.co/d9G9tmjGZZ
— HPAE (@hpaeaft) April 26, 2018
The bill is modeled after similar legislation for ICU nurses in California and Massachusetts, which are currently the only states with established laws limiting nurse-patient ratios. Along with establishing minimum ratios, the bill would protect “whistleblowers” who speak out against unsafe staffing conditions from being terminated, according to a press release.
@SenSherrodBrown @SenWarren @SenSanders @janschakowsky @RepGutierrez @RepBobbyRush @RepMikeQuigley @keithellison @RepYvetteClarke Come out Thursday 4/26 Permit Area 1, west side of Capitol, to meet thousands of nurses. pic.twitter.com/bLaosNTf1u
— Doris BSN RN-BC CCRC (@DorisCarrollRN) April 21, 2018
The bill was introduced in 2017 during the last #NursesTakeDC rally on May 5 but stalled quickly after being introduced in the House and Senate. Part of the movement’s strategies this year was to educate nurses on how to effectively lobby legislators about the issue.
If you would like to learn more about the Nurses Take DC movement, visit NursesTakeDC.com
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