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Nurses push for standard on nurse-patient ratios

Boston Herald: Arlington resident and nurse Kelly Williams was a caretaker from the beginning — she would rush to her siblings when they were injured, and at 8 years old she helped care for her ailing grandmother.

“She’s the youngest, but she was always the person to put Band-Aids on her older brothers and sister,” said her mother, Donna Kelly-Williams, 63. “She’s the nurse that I would want to take care of me.”

It’s high praise coming from Donna, who has spent 44 years building her own nursing career at Cambridge Hospital. But when she learned her daughter would follow in her footsteps, her pride was overshadowed by concern — Donna has experienced firsthand the staffing burdens that nurses say is only getting worse.

Her daughter’s future is the driving force behind her support for a November ballot initiative limiting the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time.

“In the current climate of nursing in hospitals there’s no limits to the number of patients assigned to a registered nurse at one time,” Donna said. “But it’s something my daughter wanted to do, which made my passion for getting a law put into place all the more important.”

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