2008 News

MNA initiatives on safe staffing, safe patient handling move forward

04.15.2008

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
April 2008 Edition

President's Column
By Beth Piknick

As the spring season arrives and with it the hopes for all things new, so too can nurses take hope that new improvements in their practice – both to protect their patients and their own safety – may be on the horizon.

In recent months, we have seen positive movement by the Legislature on two key bills filed by the MNA. The Public Health Committee has given favorable reports to the MNA’s safe patient handling bill, and most exciting of all, to our safe RN staffing legislation, H.2059.

The safe patient handling bill would require health care facilities to provide safe patient handling systems and technology to prevent muscular-skeletal injuries. The safe RN staffing bill would set a safe limit on nurses patient assignments, require hospitals to adjust staffing based on acuity, ban mandatory overtime and floating without orientations, while providing numerous initiatives to increase the recruitment and retention of nurses. Action on the safe staffing bill could take place at any moment, so please visit this Web site for regular updates on this vital measure that could dramatically improve nurse practice for every acute care nurse in the Commonwealth.

National Nurses Day celebration and rally—see you on May 6
With spring also comes National Nurses Week, May 6–12. The MNA has planned an exciting event for all nurses on National Nurses Day, May 6. This celebration in honor of nurses and their contributions to quality patient care will run from 10 a.m. to noon at the Hynes Convention Center, featuring a keynote address from Grammyaward winning singer Patti LaBelle in addition to a presentation from Suzanne Gordon, an award-winning journalist and author of seven books on nursing.

A rally for safe patient limits on the steps of the Statehouse will culminate the May 6 MNA National Nurses Day celebration. Open to all nurses, nursing students and supporters of nurses, the 1–2 p.m. rally will be in support of legislative action on H.2059, the Patient Safety Act.

FPO