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Hundreds of Texas Registered Nurses March on Capitol Thursday to Demand Lifesaving Patient Safety Improvements
Date:11/12/2008

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"As RNs, we are out here because we want to advocate for our patients. In order to truly care for the most vulnerable among us, in our hospitals, we need to know that every patient is guaranteed access to an RN when they need it, and that RN has the protections she needs to do her job," said Olga Perez, a nurse from San Antonio.

"It's a new day in Texas and America, and one of the first things we need to do is make sure nurses in every state can provide patients the care they deserve," said Malinda Markowitz, RN, a co-president of the National Nurses Organizing Committee.

Ratios:

The portion of the law establishing minimum, safe RN-to-patient ratios is modeled on landmark laws in California and Australia which are directly improving patient care in those areas, and attracting RNs from around the world to practice their profession in a safe atmosphere.

The Texas RN ratios would require minimum ratios by unit -- a floor for patient safety, with increased staffing when needed based on the severity of patient illness. Research has shown the need for such an approach.

This approach has been shown to save lives. One study (The American Journal of Public Health, August 2005) found that cutting ratios to one RN per 4 patients could save 72,000 lives nationally, while another found that (Journal of the American Medical Association, October 22, 2002) up to 22,000 American lives are lost each year due to unsafe ratios. Other studies have linked everything from the rise of staph infections to the spread of pneumonia to unsafe ratios for direct care nurses.

For more information on ratios, journalists can view the following brochure, "The Ratios Solution," at http://www.calnurses.org/assets/pdf/ratios/ratios_booklet.pdf

Patient Advocacy and Whistle-blower Protections:

Nurses have an ethical obligation to serve as patient a
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SOURCE National Nurses Organizing Committee
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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