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Nurses: When Will You Take Action for Safe Staffing?

Nurses Article News   (1,506 Views | 2 Replies | 880 Words)
by NursesTakeDC NursesTakeDC (Trusted Brand) Trusted Brand

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Calling all Nurses, Especially Illinois and New York Nurses. Do you want to be heard?

Illinois and New York nurses (APRNs, RNs, LPNs) Check your inbox for an email survey. Your responses can help get the attention of state legislators.

Nurses: When Will You Take Action for Safe Staffing?

Nurses comment every day on social media about staffing issues. I just wish they’d take it one step further. Words matter—but action is your true power.

  • Action—as in organizing to educate yourselves.
  • Action— as in showing up to a 2-day event, NursesTakeDC, a Conference with CEs and a Rally/Lobby Day on April 21-22, 2020.
  • Action— as in then meeting with your legislators to convince them why they must pass federal legislation to support nurses staffing ratios—and acuity. Because the complaining on social media just becomes background noise.
  • And I want you to —ROAR. Then you will be heard. 

Professor Linda Aiken's Study on Nurse Staffing

Another way to take action is happening right now in Illinois and New York—nurses pay attention!  Could you tell all your Illinois and New York APRN, RN and LPN colleagues to complete Professor Linda Aiken's study survey on the quality of nurse staffing in Illinois and New York? Did YOU complete it? Only 8,361/180+k nurses in IL and 14,226/334+k in NY responded to the email survey as of December 20th. Less than a 5% response rate. 

I’m quite shocked. And angry.

And this is why. 

Why Should You Respond to a Survey?

In Illinois, we’ve had the Nurse Staffing by Acuity Act since 2008 - A law that states hospitals must purchase an acuity tool and form staffing committees comprised of bedside nurses and management. A law without any penalty to somehow enforce hospitals to comply. As a result, few hospitals do in fact comply. In fact, the ANA-IL collected data from nurses to show just how unsafe staffing is in Illinois. And NursesTakeDC completed a survey concurrently with ANA-IL which duplicated similar results for Illinois. 

How Can Nurses Fight for Safe Staffing Laws?

So what is the answer to move us forward? How can nurses fight for safe staffing laws? I believe it’s by mandating safe staffing ratios that include patient acuity and penalties if hospitals do not act in good faith. The ANA and the AHA state its laws are like Illinois’s. Illinois nurses say—No way! We are attempting to pass the Illinois Bill HB2604 Safe Patient Limits Act, similar to California nurse to patient ratio legislation from 2004. Illinois and New York nurses must tell their state legislators their unsafe staffing stories—like I did with the  NPR affiliate interview with Philadelphia's WHYY   and  Chicago's WBEZ.

However, how can nurses impact on safe nurse staffing if nurses in Illinois and New York choose NOT to be a part of Professor Aiken’s survey study? An evidenced-based nursing study— which we, as nurses, have a responsibility to participate in.  We are expected to advocate, impact and improve patient safety, as well as our own profession of nursing— on healthcare policy in Illinois and New York. These 2 states have pending legislation,  HB2604/S.1908 in Illinois and A2954/S1032 in New York.

Illinois and New York Nurses Should Complete the Survey

All Illinois and New York nurses should complete the email survey, not just hospital-based nurses. Even currently inactive and retired nurses who are holding an active license to practice. Please remember—it as an independent, objective research project— to inform the policy debate about patient to nurse ratios in Illinois and New York. Additionally, a large part of the study is to link your responses with actual patient outcomes. Please complete the study survey, your voice does count.

Search Your Email

The email survey is from the National Council on State Boards of Nursing and the respective state’s Board of Nursing—IDFPR in Illinois and NYSEOP in New York. Make sure you search your email— all folders including, the junk folder for NCSBN. It was sent to the email you used when you renewed your license. Please do this and be a part of history—evidenced-based research on the quality of nurse staffing in Illinois and New York. 

You Can Affect the Future of Nurse Staffing

Finally, your participation may have implications for the future of nurse staffing in all states. Imagine that. You will be a part of evidenced-based research on healthcare policy and nurse staffing. Here’s your chance now. So—what’s stopping you? 

And get yourselves to NursesTakeDCNow.

Your inaction is deafening. It silences your voice. Make it heard. 

Doris Carroll BSN, RN-BC, CCRC

Illinois Nurse




allnurses.com Illinois Nurse Staffing Survey


Bill Status Illinois State House Bill HB2604

NPR - Why Mandated Nurse-to-Patient Ratios Have Become One of the Most Controversial Ideas in Health Care

Illinois Nurses Push for Safe Patient Limits, Working Conditions

New York State Senate Bill S1032

NursesTakeDC is a nurse-driven movement to make safe nurse to patient ratios a reality for all nurses and patients in the United States. Help us get mandated nursing ratios passed nationwide by telling your legislators about Senate Bill 1357 and House Bill 2581. Be an advocate for yourself, your profession, and your patients.

2 Followers; 2 Articles; 1,300 Profile Views; 25 Posts

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Snatchedwig has 12 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LPN, RN and specializes in Medsurg.

2 Followers; 368 Posts; 3,045 Profile Views

I believe there is plenty of attempts to make safer ratios. Fast forward to 2020 and we still dont see much progress.

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RN-to- BSN has 6 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in SCRN.

218 Posts; 4,818 Profile Views

I live in Illinois, and took a survey couple of months ago. 

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