Press release: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has added his support to the long list of individuals and organizations encouraging residents to vote YES on Question 1, The Patient Safety Act.
“Nurses are the backbone of our health care system. They are there with us when we are born, when we are sick and in the last years of our lives. They must be allowed to do the quality work that they have trained for,” said Senator Sanders. “Question 1 would set a safe maximum on the number of patients nurses can treat, so that patients can receive the quality care they deserve. Nurses are behind this initiative, and I trust them when it comes to knowing what is best for their patients.”Senator Sanders has been a staunch supporter of nurses. From his website:
Bernie is a proud co-sponsor of the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act (S. 864) which would impose mandatory limits on the number of patients each Registered Nurse cares for in the hospital. As numerous studies have shown, these mandated standards for nurse-to-patient ratios would save lives and improve the quality of care for hospital patients. Bernie is also committed to ensuring appropriate nurse-to-patient ratios in all hospitals of the Department of Veterans Affairs so that we achieve optimal care for our veterans.
Bernie has also been a longtime supporter of boosting funding for nursing workforce programs to increase the number of Registered Nurses and Advance Practice Registered Nurses, as well as the nurse faculty who educate them. Bernie agrees with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that “Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care providers, in redesigning health care in the United States.” Bernie also believes that nurses must be a leading voice in the conversation within each hospital about safe nurse staffing levels.
During his time in the US Senate, Bernie has consistently advocated for more funding for Nursing Workforce Development Programs. Last year, Bernie chaired a hearing on patient safety and invited a nursing workforce expert to testify on the importance of adequate nurse staffing for patient safety. Bernie agrees with her that it is shortsighted for any hospital to think they will ultimately save money with fewer nurses on the job.