Pennsylvania’s deepening COVID19 crisis has exposed the urgent need to address Pennsylvania’s unsafe staffing crisis and poorly equipped facilities. Now more than ever we need frontline nurses to have a voice in the delivery of care. As health professionals, however, we also know that avoiding large in-person gatherings and flattening the contagion curve is our best hope for saving lives. That means a new approach to National Nurses Week.

The plan we laid out a few weeks ago to fight for safe patient limits in 2020 has the right goals. We need to build our Nurse Voter Values, test candidates based on where they stand on our values, get every nurse and our communities to vote with us for the candidates who stand for our values, and then after the election hold everyone who is elected accountable to taking action on moving safe patient limits forward in the state. But we’ll need to innovate to reach those goals while practicing social distancing. Leaders from across our movement will be digging in this coming week to begin figuring out how to make Nurses Week successful and powerful in a different way. We’re nothing if not great problem solvers and we’ll share updates as we figure out the best way to advocate for our patients and profession in this moment.

2020 is the World Health Organization’s International Year of the Nurse, and now the year of COVID19, which the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic. The rapid spread of the virus has exacerbated and thrown into sharp relief chronic weaknesses in our healthcare system, especially the staffing crisis.

More than ever before, we need the leadership of Pennsylvania nurses. As we continue to plan for May 6th, here are a few actions we can take.

1) Please join an important teletown hall for caregivers, on Thursday March 19th at 4:00 PM. We’ll be hosted by our partner in the fight for safe staffing, SEIU Healthcare PA, and Dr. Rachel Levine, PA Secretary of Health to discuss the efforts to fight the coronavirus. Click here to RSVP. 

2) Don’t forget to take your Nurse Voter Values Survey.

3) Finally, let us know what challenges you’re facing in your workplace that we need decision makers to address.

We’ll be back in touch soon with revamped plans for Nurses Week. 

– Nurses of PA