For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Webber, 518.782.9400, Ext. 223
Latham, N.Y. – March 14, 2007 – The New York State Nurses Association supports efforts by the State Senate and Assembly to restore needed funds to hospitals and nursing homes. At the same time, the 35,000-member union is pushing for laws that would promote safe patient care.
“Everyone claims to be putting patients first,” said Tina Gerardi, RN, NYSNA interim executive director, “but freezing and cutting state support for healthcare facilities will have a huge impact on frontline healthcare providers and on their patients.”
NYSNA has observed over its 106-year history that hospitals deal with financial problems by eliminating nursing positions. The most recent examples occurred this month at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn.
“It is dangerous to reduce state funding for hospitals without enacting laws and regulations that define and enforce appropriate nurse staffing,” Gerardi continued. “For example, we need a law that will ban mandatory overtime, which is used routinely by some hospitals after they cut nursing staff. The state should take this tool out of their hands.”
NYSNA also supports laws and regulations that would require hospitals to disclose both their staffing ratios and rates of patient complications related to low nurse staffing levels. According to national studies, some of these include postoperative complications, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, hospital-acquired pneumonia, and cardiac arrest.
With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
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