This week, Union nurses and others from across the state convened in Harrisburg, to urge Legislators to support safe staffing laws, also known as Safe Patient Limit Laws (Senate Bill 867/House Bill 450). They kicked off the week by delivering nearly 1,000 stories to their legislators about the importance of safe patient limits and how the current nurse staffing crisis affects patient care.
Pennsylvania is in a patient-care crisis in both hospitals and nursing homes, driven by unprecedented short-staffing. Nurses across the state are being assigned more and more patients as staffing levels drop. At the same time, patients’ cases are increasingly serious and complex. Patients are at risk, and nurses—frustrated, injured, and burned out—are leaving the profession.
That is why Pennsylvania nurses are sending a clear message to legislators: celebrating nurses means supporting Safe Patient Limits.
On Tuesday and Wednesday nurses hosted three listening sessions with their legislators in locations across the Capitol to share their stories.
“After years of witnessing patient suffering and the distress of my coworkers as a result of inadequate staffing, I am motivated to do everything in my power to change our healthcare system for the benefit of those it serves,” said Joanna Haneman, a Pittsburgh nurse. “As a nurse, I pledged to ‘be devoted towards the welfare of those committed to my care.’ Therefore, I feel compelled to fight for safe patient limits in Pennsylvania to ensure the individualized, dignified, and compassionate care of each patient.”
“Safe Patient Limits legislation is critically important to patient safety,” said Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks), the prime sponsor of House Bill 867. “Study after study has shown us that when nurses have too many patients, more patients die. Our patients deserve a guaranteed minimum standard of care that can only be ensured by safe patient limits legislation.”
Video excerpts and photos from this week’s listening sessions in the Capitol are linked here and can be attributed to Nurses of Pennsylvania.
Check out nurses in the media this week, advocating for Safe Patient Limits.
Nurses Lobbying in Harrisburg for Safe Staffing Ratios, Erie News Now
Rick Smith: Interview with RN Claudia Crane, The Rick Smith Show
Pittsburgh nurses visit Harrisburg and call for safer staffing ratios, Pittsburgh City Paper