News & Events

Great TV Coverage of the MNA/NNU Ballot Initiative for Safe Patient Limits

Follow the link below to view a powerful news story about our Ballot Initiative for Safe Patient Limits on ABC TV 40 in Springfield.  The piece features strong quotes by Mercy Medical Center nurse and MNA/NNU Board member Sandra Hottin, who makes the case that this is all about protecting our patients, and forcing the industry to put their focus on the patients as opposed to profits. For more information on this campaign, visit

Ballot Question Would Set Nursing Levels
August 8th, 2013
(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–There’s an ongoing debate in Massachusetts whether limits should be placed on the number of patients a nurse can be assigned to at one time.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association has filed a ballot initiative that would require one nurse for every four patients in medical or surgical units, one nurse for up to three patients in emergency departments and one nurse for every two patients in critical care units.
Nurses say the issue  is patient safety,”As nurses, we’re looking at patient care, patient outcomes, and the hospital is looking at the income versus what’s going out, and we all realize that but there’s got to be some way we can manage that together and give good safe patient care,” says Sandra Hottin, a Registered Nurse and member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
But hospitals like Baystate Medical Center  say it’s a bad idea,”It’s expensive, it’s unnecessary, and it impedes the effort to reform the way that health care is delivered in both the Commonwealth and on a national level,” says Steven Bradley, Vice President of Government and Community Relations and Public Affairs at Baystate Health Systems.
Bradley says the nurses are using scare tactics to get the initiative  passed,”Tying to scare the voters into believing that health care in Massachusetts is poor, declining, and dangerous is really very unfortunate,” says Bradley.
But nurses disagree,”I don’t think it’s scare tactics at all, I think it’s a reality,” says Sandra Hottin, RN.
This staffing level issue has been debated before in the Massachusetts Legislature but no law has ever been enacted.
If this goes on the ballot, it would be the first time that Massachusetts voters would actually decide the matter in a referendum vote.