2009 News

Students talk to legislators about the frozen RN job market


From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
June 2009 Edition

  State House visit: Nurses and recent graduates with Sen. Anthony Galluccio (D-Cambridge), top left, and with Rep. Joe Driscoll (D-Braintree), bottom left.

As part of the MNA’s campaign to pass safe RN staffing legislation, nurses visit the State House to distribute information about the conditions they see at the bedside. We have begun these visits with an eye toward building up to the public hearing on Safe RN Staffing that is scheduled for Nov. 3.

During the MNA’s first related State House visit in May we focused on informing the legislators about the hiring freezes that currently exist in many facilities around the state. For years the hospitals have opposed safe RN staffing by citing an inability to find the nurses to staff adequately as a major reason. Yet now we see that clearly isn’t the case as many new and experienced RNs are having difficulty finding work in acute care facilities and many facilities have even undergone layoffs.

We were joined by nursing students about to graduate and join the nursing profession. A class of nursing students from UMass Boston joined MNA members because they were concerned about being able to find a job in the profession for which they have trained.

A number of legislators took time out of their busy schedules to speak directly with their constituent students and RNs. Reps. Joe Driscoll (D-Braintree) and Denise Provost (D-Somerville) as well as Sens. Michael Morrissey (D-Quincy), Anthony Galluccio (D-Cambridge) and Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) spoke with the students.

“It was a great learning experience for a student nurse—or any nurse—to go to the State House, to meet with our senators and representatives, and to advocate for the safety of our patients and the advancement of our profession,” said Jeanine Doucet, a participating student nurse from Attleboro. “It felt great to be a part of a vital process.”

If you would like to participate in the MNA’s advocacy efforts at the State House please contact political organizer Riley Ohlson at 781.830.5740 or via e-mail at rohlson@mnarn.org.