When staff nurses from two unions gather together to strategize around improving staffing, patients and their families take heart and hospitals take notice. Washington’s nurses are ready to take on the corporate healthcare industry and demand that patients come before profits.

Staff nurse members joined forces on Saturday to add strength and volume to the call for safe patient staffing standards. In a day-long event, the nurses focused on honing their advocacy skills, sharpening their message, and refining their strategy to win statewide nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nurses connected across regional and hospital boundaries to build one strong voice to hold hospital executives accountable. Nearly 50% of hospitals in Washington State are now part of a large corporations.

Nurses from both unions who work in PeaceHealth, Providence, Franciscan and Community Health Systems facilities connected to discuss strategies to hold these corporate giants accountable for safe staffing standards and patient safety. Nurses examined and discussed staffing outcomes research and the new Affordable Care Act payment structures that reward hospitals for better outcomes– which will come from better staffing.

“Since we created our healthcare regulations, hospitals have consolidated and grown,” said Diane Sosne, RN, MN, President of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. “Decisions about patient care are being made by CEOs in far-away corporate boardrooms, not by front-line nurses. This needs to change.” View speaker resources here.

Nurses left reenergized and ready to work towards holding hospitals accountable to their true missions to provide patient care.

Conference materials are available below.

Keynote Speakers

Barbara Caress, Healthcare Consultant

“Our hospital doesn’t have enough money for staffing.” Sound familiar? Barbara Caress will tell you why our hospitals can’t afford not to have the safest staffing. As an expert in hospital finance and economics, she’ll debunk the common myths we hear and share why hospitals should implement safe staffing as soon as possible to save our hospital systems money, along with patient lives.

View speaker resources here.

Dr. Pam Mitchell, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Safe staffing doesn’t just save lives, it improves care and saves money. Dr. Pam Mitchell is an expert on connecting quality patient outcomes to nurse staffing and will share how data can help us make the case for the urgency around staffing in our hospitals. Dr. Mitchell will also share her partnership with nurses at Valley Medical Center to implement a project for nurses to assign their own staffing levels.

View speaker resources here.

Rep. Dawn Morrell, RN

Our work to provide the safest care extends beyond the walls of our hospital and into our community and to the state legislature. Our advocacy with elected leaders as critical to conveying the urgency and need for staffing reforms, but how do we make sure our voices are heard when our hospitals say staffing reforms aren’t needed? In addition to her work as a state legislator, Rep. Dawn Morrell, RN, has worked as a certified critical care nurse at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital since 1984, and will share her expertise how our voices can effectively counteract the voices of hospital administrators.


Save money, save lives: The business case for better staffing
– Chris Barton, RN & Joanne Metroplos, RN

Every day, enough patients die from preventable medical errors to be the equivalent of 3 plane crashes. Hospitals say they can’t afford the money for better staffing, yet they can’t afford to ignore this crisis. How can we raise the alarm when our hospitals say they don’t have the money? Hear how the Affordable Care Act and the link to quality outcomes will bring more money to our hospitals, and how value based purchasing can ensure our hospitals receive top reimbursement.

View workshop resources here.

Sharing our staffing stories beyond the dinner table: How to be an effective communicator on the nurse staffing crisis
– Lillie Cridland, Linnae Riesen, & Julie Popper

Sometimes it feels like nobody really understands what it’s like to be a nurse. So how can we help the general public understand the crisis? Join nurse communicators Linnae, Julie, and Lillie on the importance of sharing our story and some tips and tricks to make the crisis real, both beyond the dinner table and in the media.

View workshop resources here.
Share your story form available here.

Not too tired to give a damn: Breaks, Fatigue, and Patient Safety
– Jan Ellis, PhD, RN & Carson Glickman-Flora, JD

Our patients are counting on us to provide the safest care, but how can do that when we’re working fatigued and missing our breaks and meals? This practice impacts more than just staff and puts our patients at risk. Jan Ellis, PhD, RN, and former nursing instructor from Shoreline Community College will share research linking fatigue to critical patient safety issues, and tools we can back to our units to highlight the impact this has on care. Carson Glickman-Flora was the lead attorney in the landmark State Supreme Court decision which affirmed the importance of breaks for patient safety and required hospitals to adequately compensate nurses for missed breaks at Sacred Heart Medical Center. She will review legal victories happening around the state and discuss the legal obligations for employers to provide and properly compensate for missed breaks.

View workshop resources here.

Walking the walk and talking the talk: patient advocacy is part of the job
– Rep. Tami Green, RN and Anne Tan Piazza

Most days we leave work, happy to have survived the shift. But is it enough when we know our patients are missing care and their safety is on the line? The Nurse Practice Act and RN code of ethics says it is our duty to advocate for our patients. Join Rep. Tami Green and Anne Tan Piazza to hear more about how we can help pass state laws to reform patient safety, how it’s already working in California, and the importance of our work in the elections and in the legislature to ensure our patients are safe.

View workshop resources here.

June 12th, 2014

Posted In: Nurse Alliance, Uncategorized

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

15 S. Grady Way, Suite 200 Renton, WA 98057 | 425-917-1199
Paid for in part by SEIU COPE, with voluntary contributions from SEIU members and their families. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.