Senator Hillary Clinton wants to know "What would you have us do?" - page 2

Please answer Senator Hillary Clinton. In the Senate Hearings on the Nursing Shortage 5/17/01 she posed the question, "What would you have us do?", let's all answer it. I urge everyone to watch... Read More

  1. by   PeggyOhio

    My thanks go to Mijourney for giving me directions to the video. If you are out there Mijourney, thanks.

    For those of you who did take the time to watch the video might I say I'm proud to know you. Nurses that are concerned enough to become involved and invest their time and energy in improving their profession are hard to find.

    For those who haven't watched the video yet or are unaware that the plight of nurses is being discussed by our legislators please, watch and become aware. If you choose to stay in this profession the things they are discussing and the decision they make will impact you as a nurse for years into the future. They need our input. Keep the letters flowing. Write your Senator.

    Here is the link:Senate

    If you're ready to hear more listen to the Hearing on 2/13/01.

    Senator Hutchinson of Arkansas, chairs. Senator Mikulski (aka Pricess Lea)of MD, Senator Clinton of NY, and Senator Roberts of Kansas participate.

    Some very interesting dialogue.

    It deserves a new topic. Lets start one to discuss our favorite excerpts from this hearing.

    Hear is the link. As before click on the orange "VideoHealthCast" button

    SenateHearing 2/13/01

    [ May 24, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
  2. by   -jt
    I find it hard to believe that Hillary is really asking what do we want them to do. She already knows. She participated in the packed US Senate Hearing in February the first time it convened, shes had a lot of education from our state association, a lot of mail from NY nurses, particpated in forums here with us & knows the issues back & forth by now. I think she was asking a rhetorical question to get everyone to focus & get the kind of response for the other legislators that you all are giving so well.

    BTW, talking to the legislators, writing them & doing things like Lobby Days really work. I participated in the March NY state Nurses Lobby Day. Even though one of my State Assemblymen couldnt be available for a meeting, I left the NYSNA Legislative packet in his office and followed up with a note a few days later regretting our meeting wasnt able to happen but that I would be available to discuss the issues with him and help him advance the agenda to find solutions when he was ready.

    I just received a personal invitation from him to attend a Legislative Forum tomorrow to discuss the shortage of nurses in our community and "add to the value of our discussion, enabling me to carry back to the Legislature a more complete appreciation of this complex issue in health care". He also invited me to bring my colleagues "whose experience is invaluable and who would be interested in working with me to solve one of our community's most pressing problems."

    The nursing shortage being put on the agenda of this Health Care Forum and the invitation being extended to me to help educate them on this issue is a direct result of participation in my state associations Nurse Lobby Day.

    Because I never open my mail when I get it, and just found his letter on my dining room table, I'm going to be here all night copying & printing material to educate the legislators and community activists attending the forum tomorrow!
  3. by   kjmta57
    yes I quite agree for those of you that dont think it makes a diffrence it really does 2 months ago we had a bill in the senate trying to get rid of our classification.we had 3 short weeks with only 1000 of us in the state to turn it around and we drove the senators crazy with our phone calls,letters and faxes and yes we won!
  4. by   PeggyOhio

    Good for you! We'll be waiting to hear how it goes keep us updated.

    What kind of info do you want? Is there anyway we can help?
  5. by   -jt
    Kmjta - Congratulations! A little sweat pays off. I wish more nurses could see that & get energized by it & start moving instead of sighing in defeat. Where I live, NURSES write many of the bills on issues that affect them & our elected officials pay attention, sponsor them and pass them. Heres an example......

    Current Legislative Activity -

    "The New York State Nurses Association supports RNs in your efforts to provide quality care in a safe work environment. We are the professional association for registered nurses in New York state, and we understand the issues that are important to you.

    State laws can have a major impact on your practice. In the past year, laws were enacted in NY to prevent needlestick injuries and to create a statewide peer assistance program for addicted nurses.

    Bills are currently under consideration that would ban mandatory overtime, protect nurses who speak out about unsafe patient care, and establish statewide staffing guidelines.

    Protecting nurse ‘whistleblowers’: After nurses were harassed by their employers for testifying at legislative hearings, NYSNA wrote and lobbied for passage of the Healthcare Whistleblower Protection Act. The bill passed the State Legislature in 2000 but was pocketed by Gov. George Pataki for that year. It will be sent before him again.

    This law will prohibit employers from retaliating against healthcare workers who report unsafe patient care practices to government agencies. Reports of retaliation will be investigated by the state Department of Labor, which can impose fines on employers for violating the law.

    Nurses will be protected, not only when they report illegal activities, but also if they are required by their employer to violate the nursing code of ethics as it relates to safe patient care.

    Bill and Sponsor: A.3259 (Nolan), S3660 (Spano)
    Status: Passed Assembly 3/19/01; Senate Labor Committee.

    Establishing nurse staffing guidelines: After heroic nurses went on strike to obtain staffing guidelines at their facilities, NYSNA took the lead in promoting safe staffing by securing sponsors for a state law that would create enforceable staffing standards in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

    We want to ensure that these guidelines reflect important criteria such as patient acuity, the physical layout of the facility, and the experience and training of personnel.

    NYSNA has supported legislation to set staffing ratios in nursing homes.
    Bills and Sponsors: S.117 (Marcellino) for hospitals.
    A.4171 (Gottfried), S.2185 (Hannon) for nursing homes.
    Status: Health Committees in both houses.

    Disclosing staffing ratios:
    Nurses know that appropriate staffing affects patient outcomes. NYSNA wrote a bill that requires hospitals and nursing homes to disclose and report nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and the mix of licensed and unlicensed personnel. It calls for facilities to disclose information indicating the quality of nursing care, such as the incidence of nosocomial infections, patient falls, and pressure ulcers. Public knowledge of staffing practices will help put “market pressure” on facilities.

    To protect nursing practice and patients, the bill also prevents unlicensed personnel from using the title “nurse.”

    Bills and Sponsors: A.2581 (Gottfried), S.510 (DeFrancisco)
    Status: Passed Assembly, 3/26/01; Senate Health Committee.

    Prohibiting mandatory overtime:
    As staffing conditions have worsened, healthcare facilities have resorted to mandatory overtime. This practice is dangerous for both nurses and patients. NYSNA wrote a bill to prohibit employers from requiring nurses to work beyond their regularly scheduled shifts. This is a “zero tolerance” measure — except in emergency situations, there would be no mandatory overtime for RNs or LPNs.

    Bills and Sponsors: A.7127 (Nolan), S.3515 (Morahan)
    Status: Labor Committees in both houses.

    Encouraging continued competency:
    To promote quality care and in-service training programs for nurses, NYSNA wrote legislation that would require registered nurses practicing in New York state to complete 45 hours of continuing education during each three-year registration period. Exemptions are provided for illness, military duty, and nurses who are not engaged in direct care.

    Bill and Sponsor: S.3107 (LaValle), A.7653 (E. Sullivan)
    Status: Higher Education Committees in both houses.

    Increasing the supply of nurses:
    NYSNA has promoted the introduction of a budget-related bill designed to encourage individuals to enter the nursing profession. This effort complements initiatives aimed at improving working conditions for RNs. NYSNA wrote legislation that would create the Empire State Professional Nursing Scholarship Program to provide financial support to applicants who agree to deliver nursing care in an area of New York that is experiencing a nursing shortage. The bill also includes a grant program for nursing schools.

    Bills and Sponsors: S.3389 (LaValle) - Senate Health Committee
    A.7470 (Scozzafava) - Assembly Health Committee
    A.7814 (Pretlow) - Assembly Higher Education Committee.

    Protecting nursing practice:
    There have been attempts in recent years to hand off nursing practice to unlicensed personnel and other professions. NYSNA is committed to the principle that NURSES should practice nursing.

    To stop unlicensed practice of nursing, NYSNA is:

    Working to repeal an archaic legal exemption that allows unlicensed personnel to provide nursing care in certain mental health facilities.
    Bills and Sponsors: S.1830 (Padavan) , A7284 (E. Sullivan)
    Status: Senate Higher Education Committee; Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

    Fighting to close a loophole that allows the State Department of Health to independently create new types of healthcare professionals.
    Bills and Sponsors: S.3498 (LaValle), A7211 (E. Sullivan)
    Status: Higher Education Committees in both houses.

    Opposing measures to authorize unlicensed aides to administer medications to non-self-directing patients in adult homes.

    To remove barriers to nursing practice, NYSNA:

    Wrote a bill to allow nurses to provide home care in small group practices without having to be licensed as a home care agency.
    Bills and Sponsors: S.2409 (Velella), A.1271 (Tonko)
    Status: Senate Health Committee, Passed Assembly

    Supports insurance laws that are “provider neutral,” so patients of nurse providers have the same rights as patients of physicians.
    Bills and Sponsors: A.5066 (Gottfried), S.3241 (Seward)
    Status: Assembly Way & Means Committee, Senate Insurance Committee.

    Wrote legislation requiring insurers to reimburse nurses at the same level as other providers when nurses deliver the same services.
    Bills and Sponsors: A.2677 (Gottfried), S.3278 (Padavan)
    Status: Insurance Committees in both houses."
    -NYSNA Practice and Governmental Affairs.
  6. by   -jt
    Thanks Peggy. Im just copying stuff like what I posted up there so the legislators can tell a glance which bills to support. And I copied a few articles that explain our situation on the whole so they all understand its not about our age. And I asked a friend who works in a local hospital here to send me a letter about the nasty, ugly things her hospital is doing to block her contract negotiations & avoid hiring staff....while she is expected to work without a contract, take care of 17 pts... & work another shift of mandatory OT to boot. Then they wonder why nurses go on strike. Its to stop this! Im printing that letter & giving a copy to everyone in the room. HA! That should go over big. One of our local Assemblymen is on that hospitals board of directors. Hes already intervened in support of the nurses & when he hears whats going on there now I dont think he'll be too happy with them. And the community activists in the room (and who have to be pts there) are going to be getting some education too. I cant wait to see what comes of all this. I just have to figure a way to diplomatically say that this whole crisis thing is because of profit-driven business practices designed to maintain the profit margin and is a "self inflicted industry wound due" to greed. Dont want to offend the Republican businessmen in the room, you know.

    Anyway, write your legislators, call them, visit them, make them get it straight because like it or not, they will be passing the laws that we have to live by. Might as well have laws you can live with.
  7. by   RNSue
    I just sent Hillary an e-mail and my senator awhile back. I don't have much faith in Hillary since she dropped the ball about health care reform early in the Clinton term. I suspect at that time she was influenced by big business(pharmaceutical companies and HMOs), but since she asked... I told her what she could do for us.
  8. by   Q.
    I personally think that I could evoke more change by standing on my hospital rooftop than writing to Slick Willy's wife.

  9. by   kewlnurse
    Originally posted by PeggyOhio:
    <STRONG>Please answer Senator Hillary Clinton. In the Senate Hearings on the Nursing Shortage 5/17/01 she posed the question, "What would you have us do?", !
    What wouold i have her do?

    Get the hell out of my state you worthless Hellspawn demon!!!But hey, thats just me.
  10. by   nurs4kids
    Perhaps we could send our lists of things we would have her do and accompany it with a box of cigars??
  11. by   pattyjo
    My first time to post here, couldn't pass up the opportunity to thank Peggy for encouraging us to use our voices to speak up for our profession. Don't for one minute think one voice doesn't matter, and just imagine the collective voices of nurses across the country!
    Cargal, I am also from PA. You and other PA nurses may be interested in this: Senator Mary Jo White has agreed to sponsor legislation at the state level prohibiting mandatory overtime. She is looking for co-sponsors in the senate. Perhaps your senator would be willing to sign on with her. This is not an actual bill yet so it has no number, but you can encourage your senator to contact Sen. White.
    I hope we can continue this active, positive approach and let Washington and all our state capitals know we are here!
  12. by   Q.
    Originally posted by nurs4kids:
    <STRONG>Perhaps we could send our lists of things we would have her do and accompany it with a box of cigars??</STRONG>
    Oohh sister, you are bad!
    -but funny-

  13. by   PeggyOhio
    OK guys you've vented. And we all had a good chuckle. Now do something constuctive for yourself and your fellow nurses.

    kewlnurse: If you are disatified with the job that Senator Clinton is doing for you, all the more reason you should write her. Isn't that what they do at your workplace? Tell her in your opinion she needs some "performance improvement" and back it up with "documentation". Remember each state has two senators. If Senator Clinton is to repulsive to you to write, try Senator Shumer. Here is a link:


    nurse4kids: I enjoy your sense of humor. Point is make the list, send it with or without the cigars. I see you're from Alabama. When you finish your list here is a quick and easy link to send it to your Senators Shelby and Sessions

    SusyK: Is that with or without clothing?
    I agree you'd probably get lots of attention but change? I doubt it. Maybe a few days in mental health for a change, depending on your health insurance!

    But seriously Susy, have you tried writing?
    You are from Wisconsin. Your Senators are Feingold and Kohl. I visited both of their sites.

    Senator Feingold's homepage has thoughts about China, Africa, Social Security, the death penalty and gas prices. Not one mention about the "Nursing Crisis". What is wrong here. I'll tell you what is wrong, nurses are not speaking out. I challenge you and all the nurses of Wisconsin to get Senator Feingold to put nursing issues in a prominant place on his home page. And the way you do that is WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! THE SQUEEKY WHEEL GETS THE GREESE.

    Your other Senator, Senator Kohl lists under his FAQ's: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
    Bill 602P ( Puleez!)
    and Tax Cuts
    For chrissake an internet hoax (Bill 602P or c whichever) is more important than the "nursing crisis".
    Do people in Wisconsin care about their nurses? You wouldn't know it by visiting their Senators web-sites.

    Here is a link:SenatorFeingold


    [ May 24, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]