For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, Ext. 353
RIVERHEAD, Oct. 25, 2007 – Members of the New York State Nurses Association will take part in a community rally on Monday, Oct. 29, protesting the charges against 10 Filipino registered nurses accused of endangering the welfare of patients at a Smithtown nursing home.
The rally will start at 9 a.m. in front of the Suffolk County Criminal Court Building in Riverhead, just before a hearing on the charges is scheduled. The nurses will be joined by supporters from area community and labor organizations in calling for dismissal of the charges.
The RNs were among 27 brought to the U.S. through the Sentosa Recruitment Agency in November 2005. They resigned from their positions five months later because they said the agency lied to them, exploited them, and forced them to work under unsafe conditions.
The Nurses Association has been working on behalf of the “Sentosa 27” since April 2006 – contacting the State Board for Nursing to expedite the review of the professional misconduct charges the agency brought against the nurses after their mass resignation.
Despite being cleared by the State Board for Nursing, 10 of the RNs who worked at the Avalon Gardens Rehabilitation and Health Care Center are still being prosecuted for these actions by the Suffolk County district attorney.
Leaving their jobs was a last resort for these nurses, who believed poor staffing and inadequate training at the nursing homes were endangering patients. The Nurses Association knows of no other case where nurses have been indicted for endangering patients when no patient harm has occurred.
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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