Josh Shapiro Speaks to Nurse Council: Will Address Short-Staffing, Take On Corporate Healthcare
(October 2, 2022) — Over 80 nurses joined with Attorney General Josh Shapiro to hear from our nurse advocates and discuss our priorities regarding staffing, patient and resident safety, improving retention and recruitment, and improving care in our communities. The Zoom event was led by our nurse council, which has been advocating for pro-nurse policy and worker-centered covid response with the Department of Health and Wolf administration since 2020.
(See our voting resource page to register to vote along with our member videos).
During the call, Michelle Boyle, RN at Allegheny General Hospital shared the daily struggle that nurses face with unsafe staffing and the instability of hospital ownership and the need to improve nurse retention and recruitment by passing staffing ratios and workplace violence protections.
Josh responded with his strongest commitment on staffing, saying passing safe staffing legislation is going to be critically important and he will work to pass it in the first year of his administration!
Shapiro also stressed the importance of improving nurse licensure, offering concrete timelines for renewals and new applications so that nurses can have certainty in their practice.
John Berzansky from our state team lifted the demand for nurses having a voice at every table where decisions are made about healthcare – including workplace protections for nurses who advocate for their patients, filling nurse vacancies on the board of nursing, and continuing the nurse council into Josh’s administration.
Shapiro pledged not only to continue our work with the council, but invited nurses to be part of his transition team and in every policy conversation where healthcare is discussed.He also is committed to filling vacancies on licensure boards across professions in the state and wants to appoint candidates who will best represent the bedside needs of nurses.
When asked about how nurses will be protected from being held liable for unsafe conditions at the bedside he responded that he was the first Attorney General to indict nursing home owners for falsifying staffing and putting residents in danger and that he would continue to hold employers accountable for staffing and unsafe work conditions.
Nurses had the opportunity to ask questions directly to Josh on a variety of topics.
Josh committed to holding healthcare giants like UPMC accountable for their failures to provide safe care to patients, and for union busting.
Reflecting on his record he pledged to work across the aisle in the legislature in order to get meaningful policy for Pennsylvanians to his desk. He intends also to focus on issues across nursing, not just in hospitals, in order to make them better jobs so that we can retain and recruit quality staff across the commonwealth.
With a little over a month left until the election, it is critical that we get Josh Shapiro elected as our next governor of Pennsylvania. Josh has a long record of standing with nurses, advocating for healthcare, and holding bad actors accountable.