The collective voice of 4 million nurses have spoken, and they have been heard: the Washington state breaks and overtime protections bill has passed, without the bad amendments, and is on its way to the Governor. Your emails, your phone calls, your petition signatures, your gifts of cards, your open letters and your voices made the difference. We did it. We won. But we are not finished—there are many issues, including unsafe staffing, that we need to come together and address.
We invite you to join us in our Facebook group #Beyondthecards in order to continue the momentum and nurse advocacy that has sustained the passage of our rest breaks bill. When nurses speak, politicians listen—never has this been demonstrated so effusively.
Nurses were more activated on this issue than they have been in a decade. The “shadowing a 12 hour shift” petition passed 650,000 signatories. The issue went viral and earned articles in the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, the London Daily Mail, and countless other media outlets.
Nurses across the country were quoted, with Washington nurses and the Washington State Nurses Association leading the way.
Nurses have sent over 1,700 decks of playing cards, and Amazon has stopped taking orders. You crashed our website.
Nurses, when we are on the same team, are an unstoppable force. Nurses are power. And that is what we are called to do: Provision 6 of our Code of Ethics states that “the nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care.”
What happened with our rest breaks bill is the textbook definition of “a collective effort.” The bill became much more than a statement from a politician. It’s become an entire movement, and it’s up to us to continue the work.
We are not done. There is #endnurseabuse and workplace violence. There is bullying, from our health care colleagues, from administrators, and even patients, other nurses and family members of patients. There is unsafe staffing to the point of absurdity. Many in the public, and certainly more than a few politicians, still do not understand what we do and our incredible impact on the health of our nation.
Will you continue to advocate even when Senators are not putting their feet in their mouths? We will win on these issues, together. Join us. Visit #Beyondthecards to continue this conversation. Let’s talk about other avenues to unite together in improving our workplaces, our health care facilities, and our communities.