If I were in Massachusetts I would be doing some of these activities for my patients, my colleagues, and my sanity.
You Can Help Ensure Patient Safety
The Key to Protecting Your Patients and Your Nursing Practice
House Bill 2663 would establish minimum RN-to-patient ratios on all hospital units and in all departments. All ratios would be the same for all three shifts. These ratios would also be adjusted based on patient acuity, the educational level of the nurse.
Patient safety checklist: What you can do to help pass RN-to-patient ratio legislation
Write a personal handwritten letter to your representative and senator.
Of all the types of communication with your elected officials, personal handwritten letters probably have the greatest impact. Tell them why safe staffing is important for your patients' safety and what type of care you can provide when staffed appropriately.
For legislators' contact information or if you don't know who your legislator is, go to: http://capwiz.com/massnurses/state/main/?state=MA
Write a letter to the representative and senator who represent your hospital and have nurses from the bargaining unit sign it.
Join with other nurses from your bargaining unit and write a group letter. Have as many nurses as possible sign it. Be sure to have everyone include their name and address. Also, remember to make a copy of it before you mail it.
For legislators' contact information or if you don't know who your legislator is, go to: http://capwiz.com/massnurses/
Spread the word!
Talk to members in your bargaining unit and other colleagues about becoming activists with the MNA. Ask them to write letters to their legislators and join you in signing the bargaining unit letter. Let other nurses know about opportunities to contact legislators, volunteer with campaigns, and make their voices heard. Encourage them to check the MNA Web site often to get updates. www.massnurses.com
Hold a legislative briefing on Safe Staffing in your community.
A legislative briefing is a time for you and other RNs in your community to get together with local legislators and discuss the need for safe RN staffing. MNA staff will help you set up the briefing, contact legislators and provide background and training materials. For more information, please contact Kate at the MNA 781.830.5713, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet with your legislators in the district.
Most legislators hold regular office hours in their communities. Call the legislator's state house office (State House main number 617.722.2000) to find out when and where office hours are held.
Write a letter to the editor.
Go to http://capwiz.com/massnurses/
and follow the links to "write a letter to the editor" and personalize a sample letter and email it off. Encourage other RNs to do the same. The public trusts you--make your voice heard!
Buy an ad in your local paper.
MNA bargaining units have purchased ad space in local papers to educate the public about the importance of safe RN staffing. It will get the attention of the public, local legislators and the hospital administration. For sample ads, assistance, and more information, please contact David Schildmeier, 781.830.5717, email@example.com
Get support from non-nurses.
Do you belong to a parent/teacher organization (PTO), a church, a neighborhood group or a town or city committee? Arrange a time to present information on how RN staffing affects everyone.
Invite your PTO to formally endorse the MNA legislation.
Ask your town committee to pass a resolution supporting the Safe Staffing/ Quality Patient Care legislation.
Invite seniors in your community group to get more involved by contacting their legislators.
For more information or for materials, contact Jason at the MNA 781.830.5740 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the MNA Email Network.
Often the MNA needs to communicate with members and legislators quickly about pending bills. Members of the Email Network will be called on to take action and communicate with legislators on important issues throughout the year. Go to: http://capwiz.com/massnurses/mlm/