Background

The rally is organized by three grass­roots organi­za­tions (Nurses For National Patient Ratios, Show Me Your Stetho­scope, and A Voice for Nurses Now) that have online presences. The ShowMeY­ourStetho­scope Founda­tion has the largest following. It was launched last fall during the response to The View’ contro­versy. These plans began in February and are culmi­nating in the May 12 event. 

Details

The DC rally will be at permit area 9, at the corner of First St. NE and Consti­tu­tion Ave. It will take place from 11am-2pm ET with infor­ma­tional sessions an hour before and after. Current speakers include the sponsor of H.R. 1602 (Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act), Congress­woman Janice Schakowsky (D‑IL), Andrew Lopez, RN, CEO of Nurse­Friendly; Sandy Summers, RN MSN MPH, Execu­tive Director of The Truth About Nursing; Caroline Thomas, BSN, RN, EmpoweRN; and Janie Garner, RN, founder and Execu­tive Director of Show Me Your Stethoscope. 

National Day of Advocacy 

ANA continues to share our ongoing work on safe staffing, as well as encour­aging all advocacy efforts. We have declared May 12th a National Day of Advocacy and created a webpage highlighting all the things nurses can do to advocate for safe staffing, including attending the rally. ANA shared their event with our commu­nity, along with their RNAction​.org materials. ANA primarily used the hashtag #SafeStaffin­gSaves­Lives during their outreach since it is being widely used by this group yet is a slogan origi­nally created by ANA. 

Take Action on Safe Staffing 

Whether in person or virtu­ally, take time, this Nurses Week, to make your voice heard on this critical issue. If you are going to Capitol Hill, here are some helpful talking points: 

The Regis­tered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (S. 1132; H.R. 2083)

  • Appro­priate nurse staffing is associ­ated with improved patient outcome
  • Without optimal RN staffing, patients risk longer hospital stays, increased infec­tions, avoid­able medica­tion errors, falls, injuries and even death.
  • The bill requires Medicare-partic­i­pating hospi­tals to estab­lish a committee, composed of at least 55 percent direct care nurses, for the purpose of creating nurse staffing plans that are specific to each unit.
  • This approach offers flexi­bility to account for and meet the changing factors of a dynamic unit, including patient complexity, acuity, nurse skill and experience. 

House and Senate Ask: Cosponsor the Regis­tered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (S. 1132; H.R. 2083) 

If you won’t be in DC for National Day of Advocacy, please join your colleagues in writing your Members of Congress.

Social Media

The group remains active on Facebook and Twitter, primarily using the hashtag #Nurses­TakeDC. Most of the Twitter conver­sa­tion revolves around the general need to have more nurses to care safely for patients, and some conver­sa­tion on the value of staffing plans vs. mandated ratios as well as the two federal staffing bills. While the rally seems to primarily support the mandated ratio legis­la­tion, our National Day of Advocacy messaging will also focus on the RN Safe Staffing Act. 

Sugges­tions for May 12

This group is passionate, engaged, and looking to make a differ­ence. We see value in supporting that energy and helping shine a spotlight and educate on the issue of staffing. Here are examples of ways you could engage in tomorrow’s conver­sa­tion. Feel free to use or adjust as needed.

  1. #Nurses, today is National Day of Advocacy. Take a moment to help advocate for patients & the profes­sion. http://​bit​.ly/1Oo2wqE
  2. Florence Nightin­gale demon­strated that advocacy is what gives power to the caring nurse. Honor her birthday through Day of Advocacy!
  3. During #NursesWeek, we have a nat’l spotlight. Help get #SafeStaffing addressed. http://​bit​.ly/1Oo2wqE #SafeStaffin­gSaves­Lives
  4. Make your voice heard during National Day of Advocacy and remind congress this #NursesWeek that #SafeStaffin­gSaves­Lives
  5. Article in @Slate from @TheresaBrown shows that #SafeStaffin­gSaves­Lives. http://​slate​.me/21XHeYG
  6. Urge members of congress to support #SafeStaffing as part of National Day of Advocacy! Great way to end #NursesWeek http://​bit​.ly/1Oo2wqE
  7. There are 3.4 million RNs and there’s power in numbers. Tell congress that #SafeStaffin­gSaves­Lives! http://​bit​.ly/1Oo2wqE