Nurses and advocates demand House Bill 106 moves to full House floor vote as statewide grassroots movement builds
[HARRISBURG, PA] – A broad statewide coalition of nurses is applauding the Pennsylvania House Health Committee today for passing House Bill 106, the Patient Safety Act, after decades of grassroots advocacy to move the bill out of committee. Those same nurses are now demanding that the bill, which has the support of the Shapiro Administration, be immediately scheduled for a full floor vote in the House.
The Patient Safety Act would establish a safe minimum staffing standard for all hospitals in Pennsylvania. Patients deserve the same high standard of care no matter where they seek medical attention — whether it’s in a large urban medical center or a small rural facility.
“Today nurses made history,” said Denelle Korin, a registered nurse of 18 years and member of SEIU Healthcare PA, SEIU Nurse Alliance, and Nurses of PA. “We passed a life-saving bill out of the Health Committee after decades of being stalled by out-of-touch House leadership. Now we’re demanding that our bill finally have its day on the floor to be voted on by our elected representatives.”
Research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that nurse staffing varies widely in Pennsylvania hospitals, from three to as many as 11 patients per nurse. Studies have shown that patient staffing is directly connected to a broad range of patient outcomes including failure to rescue patients with complications, hospital-acquired infections, patient satisfaction, length of stay, readmissions, overall patient safety, and even mortality.
Research has also shown that nurses are leaving the bedside because their workloads are often unsafe in their opinion. The Hospital Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) has reported that PA hospitals are experiencing 30% nurse turnover rates. The problem isn’t a nursing shortage – in fact, all evidence shows that the national supply of nurses is growing at a rapid rate and the nation is adding a million new nurses every decade. The solution is passing the Patient Safety Act.
“We will not stop until we pass the Patient Safety Act in both the House and Senate and finally get this bill placed on Governor Shapiro’s desk and signed into law,” said Korin.
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting tens of thousands of professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home- and community-based services, and state facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of healthcare workers and ensuring quality care and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.