News & Events

Region 1 Nurse Newsletter

Download PDF


By Barbara Stringer, RN Education programs in Region One are quickly acquiring a positive reputation. At the 2007 MNA Convention, held at the Springfield Sheraton Hotel in Springfield, MA this October, the 2007 speakers reiterated that fact.

Beginning Thursday Diana J. Mason PhD, RN, FAAN, Editor-In-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing, presented the keynote address. Mason’s presentation, So Much for Evidence, inspired, invigorated and supported what we all are increasingly aware of: that people who make the decisions about patient safety are ignoring nursing’s testimony on this issue. In her power-point presentation she states “Adequate RN staffing decreases morbidity or complications; decreases mortality rates; decreases length of stays (LOS); are cost effective; and lower nurse burnout, increase higher nurse satisfaction and retention.” Other pertinent information Mason provided debunks the hospital myth that better staffing is too expensive. The summer 2003 issue of Journal of Health Care Finance, reported that “422 hospitals in 11 states increased RN staffing by 1% which increased operating costs by +0.25% – but no decrease in profits.”

Working on the front lines we are all aware that short staffing yields a decrease in the standard of care we give, which may result in poor outcomes and a deep feeling of burnout. Mason’s presentation demonstrates that nurses are “not helpless, not powerless, and are not alone…Patient care is a political endeavor – politics determine who gets what kind of care from whom, when and where.”

The plenary session introduced us to Debbie and Rob Smith’s ordeal, “Rape, A Family Survival Story.” Debbie Smith told the heartrending tale of how she survived being raped. We listened as she brought us through her heartbreaking ordeal; how slowly and painfully she and her family lived that nightmare day in and day out. Always present was the fear that the attacker would return to harm her and her family. That fear would persist for six and a half years, until her attacker was identified through DNA and was given two life terms plus 25 years. This was possible because Debbie went to the ER, submitted to, and endured the rape exam. The evidence collected was sufficient to convict her attacker and ultimately give peace and resolution to herself and her family. Today Debbie, who travels with her husband, tells her harrowing story—a story which gives a voice to other victims of sexual assault. On October 30, 2004 the legislature passed the Debbie Smith Act, an act that enhances investigation and services for sexual assault victims.

Ronald Nardi, MSN, APRN presented “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Nursing Implications” on Friday morning. His presentation covered predisposing factors, such as who would be most likely to develop PTSD, and diagnostic criteria. His discussion covered nature versus nurture. Nardi uses a four question screening tool which helps identify an individual who may be struggling with PTSD.

Many nurses work daily with individuals who have experienced trauma in their lives. This session offered to those participating, more tools to understand this population.

Friday’s closing plenary session was “Everything I Learned from Life I learned from my Donkey” given by Kevin O’Hara, RN. Mr. O’Hara has an engaging personality that draws you into his tale. We were captivated as he narrated his travels through Ireland on his donkey cart, enlivened by the colorful pictures and his wonderful Irish humor. His tale is a heartwarming one of endearing spirit and renewal.

This enjoyable closing to our 2007 program left us with a tear of laughter, and renewed energy to go forward with power and unity.

Left: The MNA Historic picket in support of the VNA and Hospice nurses, outside the Mass Mutual Building, following the Labor Program at the MNA Convention on Wednesday, October 3, 2007


COME ONE AND COME ALL! JOIN OUR REGION ONE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE. When legislators want an answer on an issue regarding nursing or health care, they come to the MNA for the answer. Research clearly shows that nurses are the most trusted voice on health care issues. The MNA makes certain the bedside nurse’s voice is heard in the halls of power by helping nurses connect with elected officials on issues important to them, by linking them to legislators in their community, by supporting politicians and legislators who support nurses, and by helping nurses become elected to public office.

The MNA initiates and promotes sound legislation to improve health care for Massachusetts citizens and to advance the nursing profession. The MNA takes a proactive stand on the development of bills that have a potential impact on nursing and healthcare.

MNA continually monitors legislation introduced both in Massachusetts and Washington, DC. Through a grassroots network of frontline nurse activists, supported by full time lobbyists and community organizers located in every MNA region, the MNA promotes public policy that advances the interests of nurses and protects the patients and the clients served by the nursing community.

Come join us on the Region 1 Legislative Committee. Do you want a voice in the MNA public policy process? Do you have someone in mind that you would like the MNA to endorse as a candidate for elected office? Do you want to learn more about public policy, the political process, or just want to be involved with like minded people who are committed to their profession and their community? Come join us!

We meet once a month, at the Region 1 office in Northampton, the first Tuesday of the month, at 5:30 p.m. Call the Region 1 office for more details: 413-584-4607

REGION ONE NURSE is published 3 times a year by Regional Council One. It is a publication made available to MNA Region One members to inform, and meet member needs by providing information on nursing, health care, and labor issues. We invite our members to submit writings to the newsletter, especially through the editorial voice. A strong democratic union requires an informed membership. All submissions are subject to editing and none will be returned. For more information contact the Region One office at 413-584-4607 or email:


MNA Convention 2007

See pictures taken from Convention

HB 2059, The Patient Safety Act

What the Joint Committee on Public Health doesn’t know! They don’t know that after all these years and hard work – we are not giving up until Safe RN Staffing becomes law! Here is what you can do to prove it to them:

  • Call your State Representative and ask that HB 2059, the Patient Safety Act be moved in the House of Representatives now! To find out who your elected official is go to http://

Let them know:

  • Last May, the House of Representatives voted 133-20 in favor of this bill but the session ended before it could become law.
  • You don’t want this to happen again!
  • You appreciate their past support, but patients can’t wait any longer.
  • You are frustrated with the legislature’s slow progress on this issue.
  • Ask your legislator to go to the Speaker of the House and ask him to get this bill on the floor this month!

Patients are suffering and dying! It’s time to act. Thank you for your time.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~ Frederick Douglass

Regional Council One of the MNA is a unit of the MNA. The Regional Council supports the MNA bargaining units, the Massachusetts Nurses Foundation and the MNA PAC in promoting the primary functions of education, political organizing, democratic member involvement and support for collective bargaining. The Regional Council also promotes education for professional activities, regional coalitions of MNA bargaining units and general members interested in advocacy. The Regional Council is accountable to the regional membership and the MNA Board of Directors and acts in accordance with general MNA policies and bylaws. The Regional Council meets every second Monday of the month in the Region One office. Region One has several committees that we invite members to join: Education, Finance, Health and Safety, History, Legislative, Newsletter, and Scholarship Committees. Let your voice be heard, join us! Call the Region One office for more information: 413-584-4607.