Last Friday I joined nurses and Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher to stand with 12,000 Twin Cities nurses who will conduct a one-day strike for patient safety on Thursday, June 10, 2010.
As a policy maker, I have always strived to reform and improve health care in Minnesota because that means a healthier population. I firmly believe a critical part of that health care delivery is strong and effective nursing workforce.
Health care in Minnesota is experiencing a lot change and is under a lot of pressure.
Reforms being implemented means change in the delivery of care. Our aging population brings a larger demand of patients. At the same time, we are seeing a shortage of nurses and other health care professionals widen. Amidst this pressure, nurses are expressing their concerns for the safety of the patients they care for everyday.
Concern for patients’ safety has always been a top concern for nurses. I know this because I’ve seen it first hand for decades. In 1984, when I was in college, nurses went on strike because of their concern for their patients. In 2001, nurses negotiated with hospitals on the number of patients that each registered nurse could care for to ensure each patient received the attention they needed. In 2008 and 2009 they came to the Legislature and worked with us to put in statute patient/provider ratios to go further to ensure patients were receiving the quality care they deserve.
I’ve worked with hundreds of nurses in many hospitals. I know how difficult a decision it is to strike, because it means leaving their patients, even for one day. But they have the courage and strength to do this in order to stand up for themselves and for the safety of their patients. I am proud to be standing with them.
To watch the entire press conferences visit http://tiny.cc/tjmfj.
Posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 by Erin Murphy,