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Mass Nurses Association Critical of Romney/Healey Health Plan For Its Failure to Address Issues on Nursing Shortage and Patient Safety

MNA Has Endorsed Tom Birmingham for His Plan to Address These Issues

CANTON, Mass. — After reviewing a health plan released today by Republican gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney and his lieutenant governor running mate Kerry Healey, the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) criticized the plan for its lack of substance on the overall health care issues, and specifically for its total lack of any proposals to deal with a crisis in health care safety caused by a growing nursing shortage.

"The nurses of Massachusetts take no great comfort in reviewing a health care proposal by a candidate for governor that fails to address one of the most widely publicized and documented problems confronting the health care system," said Julie Pinkham, MNA executive director. "There is not one mention of the current problem regarding nurse staffing levels in our health care system, nor is there one viable proposal to address this problem, even though all policy makers agree that the shortage of nurses and poor RN staffing are contributing to a rapid deterioration in the quality and safety of patient care in our system."

The MNA, who interviewed Romney before making its endorsement for Governor, has thrown its support behind Tom Birmingham for governor, as he has laid out a detailed and thoughtful plan to address the current health care crisis, including specific initiatives to address the nursing shortage.

"The MNA is behind Tom Birmingham because he has a proven record of improving access to health care for Massachusetts residents and a unique understanding of the role nurses play in the health care system," said Karen Higgins, MNA President. "As nurses struggle to provide quality patient care in understaffed environments made worse by a looming nursing shortage, Tom Birmingham has reached out to the nursing community to hear our concerns and has joined us in supporting efforts to address this crisis through promotion of legislation that would regulate RN-to-patient ratios, which is an issue of ultimate concern to front-line nurses."