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Fall 2014

Feature Story
Making the Case for Better Staffing

Providing safe, efficient, high-quality patient care starts with proper staffing.

LAST MARCH, between shifts as a registered nurse in the psychiatric crisis unit at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., Marty Marino met with state lawmakers in an effort to persuade them to support a bill that would provide safe staffing in New Jersey hospitals. Marino wasn’t alone. He was joined by members of his union, Health Professionals and Allied Employees, who shared his passion for getting the legislation passed.

 “Safe staffing is about helping patients,” says Marino. “It’s not about creating less work for nurses and health professionals. We can’t be in two places at once; if we want to improve the quality of patient care, it requires more nurses and ancillary staff. That’s the message we tried to get across.”

Healthcare workers across the country are voicing the same message: Safe staffing saves lives. A growing body of research shows that there is a direct link between safe nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, mortality rates and readmission rates. HPAE is among a number of AFT
Nurses and Health Professionals affiliates—including AFT Connecticut, the Oregon Nurses Association and the Washington State Nurses Association—that have launched efforts to improve nurse staffing through legislation in their respective states. 


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About Healthwire

Healthwire covers news and information relevant to the nurses and health professionals represented by AFT Healthcare. It is published five times a year and is mailed to all healthcare members of the AFT as a benefit of membership. Single copies are free on request. Questions, comments and inquiries about Healthwire should be sent to its managing editor Adrienne Coles.  
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Also from this Issue:

Welcome a new name

DURING THE AFT’S recent national convention in Los Angeles, delegates unanimously approved an amendment to the AFT constitution to change the name of AFT Healthcare to AFT Nurses and Health Professionals.