On Tuesday, hundreds of nurses descended on the Capitol in Harrisburg to meet face-to-face with legislators and tell them in no uncertain terms that we need them to pass the Patient Safety Act NOW.


Union nurses from the Nurse Alliance of SEIU PA were joined by patients, families, community advocates, and elected officials as we made lobby visits, delivered legislative info flyers, testified in front of the PA House Health Committee, and held a rally and press conference on the steps of the Capitol.

“This is not a new problem,” Myra Taylor, an RN from Western Pennsylvania, told the crowd gathered on the steps of the Capitol. “This is something I have seen building over the course of my career and when the pandemic hit, it exposed the long-growing cracks in our healthcare system. But we can fix these cracks. We can solve this crisis. We can save our hospitals money and we can save lives while we’re doing it. We just need to pass the Patient Safety Act!”

The Patient Safety Act (HB 106) was introduced in the PA House on Friday, April 28th and if passed into law, would institute concrete, minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for hospitals and other healthcare facilities in our state as well as other measures aimed at solving the current nurse workforce crisis in Pennsylvania.

“When I discuss the needs of our patients, I want this committee to fully understand what it really looks like when staffing is not appropriate or safe,” Denelle Korin, RN, told the House Health Committee during testimony. “Basic needs like bathing, toileting, eating, and even drinking cannot be met, especially when a patient is relying on you to assist with these needs. Patients can lay in their own urine and feces and develop deep ulcerations on their bodies as a result of not being turned and repositioned in bed. These wounds… [can] become so large and so deep I can literally fit my own fist into them.”

Our Nurse Alliance was joined at the Capitol by a coalition of organizations including Nurses of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals (PASNAP), the Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization (JNESO), Healthcare – Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), Council 13 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN).

Nurses are happy to work hard and we are happy to do hard work,” said Rebecca Hartman, a registered nurse from Allentown, PA. “We just want to be able to do the work that we set out to do safely.  If you make the job doable, more nurses will do it… That’s why we’re here, asking our elected leaders to please help us and pass the Patient Safety Act here in Pennsylvania.”

You can help in the fight to pass real nurse-to-patient ratios here in Pennsylvania by reaching out to your elected officials and telling them why this legislation is so important. You can find contact info for your legislator here.

Learn more about the Patient Safety Act and what it would do here.

We need every nurse in this fight — to improve our jobs and the delivery of care and to protect our patients and our communities. Advocating for our patients can’t stop at the hospital doors. Stand up with your colleagues and join the fight to pass the Patient Safety Act.

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