News & Events

More than 1,000 Nurses and Health Care Advocates Will Converge at State House to Protest Dangerous Staffing Levels in Mass. Hospitals, Call for Vote on H.1282, A Bill To Set Minimum RN-to-Patient Ratios

Patients Will Discuss Dangers They Encountered While in Hospital

Note to Reporters: For the first time, this rally will provide access to patients who will discuss the deplorable care they received in Mass. Hospitals due to poor staffing

WHAT: As the quality and safety of patient care in Massachusetts hospitals continues to deteriorate due to chronic understaffing, more than 1,000 registered nurses, former patients and advocates for patient safety will gather in Nurses’ Hall at the State House for a “Rally for Safe Patient Care” on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 beginning at 10:30 a.m. The demonstration, which coincides with National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12), is designed to focus the state legislature’s attention on H.1282, a bill to regulate RN-to-patient ratios in Massachusetts hospitals, which nurses and more than 65 leading health care organizations believe is urgently needed to safeguard hospital patients and address the growing nursing shortage in the state.

Advocates for the bill will be at the State House calling for it to be released by House Ways and Means for a vote on the house floor by the end of Nurses Week. Among those speaking at the rally will be former patients who will detail their experience in understaffed hospital environments.

The legislation, which was filed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, is co-sponsored by 102 out of 200 members of the Legislature. It would set minimum RN-to-patient ratios for all units and departments in Massachusetts hospitals as a condition of licensure by the Department of Public Health.

WHEN: Nurses’ Rally for Safe Patient Care, May 11, 2004 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

WHERE: Nurses Hall, State House in Boston.

WHO: Speeches will be delivered by nurses, allied health providers, consumer advocates, citizens, and legislators. Nurses and advocates will also be making visits to legislators. Members of the media may also interview, film or photograph nurses/citizens boarding buses from all areas of the state.

David Schildmeier, 781.249.0430, for more information, fact sheets on the bill, or to schedule interviews with nurses in your coverage area prior to or on the day of the hearing.