Dear Nursing Colleagues,
I love being a nurse. Over 20 years ago, I entered our profession because I wanted to care for my patients, just as I would my own family.
Recently, it’s been tougher for me to do the job I love. Like so many nurses, my first response was to try harder. I struggled to work harder, faster, longer hours to try to make sure my patients have what they need. But as president of your union and association, I have talked with nurses across our state who are saying the same thing over and over: it’s not nurses who are falling short. Hospital CEOs are rigging the system against nurses and our patients. They’re reducing staffing so much that we can’t do the jobs we love and our patients are suffering. We already put our hearts, sweat and backs into this job. When our patients are at risk, we somehow find just a little bit more to give. But there has to be a limit to what hospital CEOs ask of us and our patients.
It’s time to hold hospital CEOs accountable. We can take the strength and hard work and heart that we offer to our patients and, together, make real change happen. That’s why we are proposing the Patient Safety Reform Package. Because nurses are the heart of patient safety and it’s time to stand up and take back our ability to do the jobs we love. I know that this is a different kind of patient care: it means talking to our representatives, instead of talking to our patients’ families and doctors. But we can and we must do it. We must tell the truth about what is happening in our hospitals. It may or may not be happening on your unit, but it’s happening in enough hospitals now that we need a statewide solution to this problem.
We have the power to make a change. This packet can help you tell your legislator why we need these bills to make sure that nurses – who are the heart of patient safety – have the ability to do the jobs we love.
Nurses are the most trusted professionals and our representatives know it. When we come together, we can do anything, including taking back the jobs that we love and the ability to care for our patients as our own.
— Julia Weinberg, RN, WSNA President