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