Nurses Week (May 6–12) is upon us and we have many events planned all over the state to both celebrate and advocate in our profession.

Collectively, we are finding our voice, and looking for ways to drive change that will translate into providing the safe, quality care we have all wanted to be able to provide.

The situation in our hospitals continues to be a crisis and it’s driving nurses away from the bedside in record numbers. This Nurses Week, we’re calling on our elected officials and hospital executives to put aside the platitudes and take immediate action to address the nurse workforce crisis.

Nurses must be involved in every part of solving this crisis and have a voice in the decisions made in our hospitals, in Harrisburg, and Washington, DC.

That is why this Nurses Week, nurses across PA will be holding job fairs to help recruit more nurses, marching in support of nurses fighting for a union at their hospital, organizing to fund safe staffing in nursing homes, and demanding the PA legislature finally vote on the Patient Safety Act to guarantee safe staffing standards in PA hospitals.

There’s a lot happening, and a lot of ways to get involved. Below, you can find more information about the ways to get involved!

 Stepping up the pressure on Kathy Rapp

The nurse staffing crisis in hospitals continues to grow worse. Every day, more and more nurses leave the bedside for other jobs and other professions. We know that safe staffing standards work and will encourage nurses to come back to the bedside, but House Health Committee Chair Rep. Kathy Rapp continues to stand in the way of both nurses and patients by refusing to act on the Patient Safety Act.

Four years ago, nurses delivered more than 10,000 petition signatures to Kathy Rapp on stretchers in the State Capitol. In response, she promised us a hearing on legislation to set safe staffing standards. Since then, she has ignored the calls, emails, letters and other pleas from nurses on this issue and has chosen instead to do the work of hospital lobbyists and not call a hearing on our bill.

Kathy Rapp’s inaction has deadly consequences for Pennsylvanians. Safe staffing standards work, and research has shown that enacting standards similar to those in California would prevent 264 surgical patient deaths per year, not to mention reducing the burnout of bedside nurses.

With Kathy Rapp ignoring our calls and letters, we are taking the solemn step of showing her the costs of her obstructionism with a funeral procession through her hometown of Warren concluding with a community vigil outside her office.

Memorial to those Lost to Unsafe Staffing & Kathy Rapp’s Inaction

DATE: Saturday, May 14th
LOCATION: Nurses meet for funeral procession through town at 11AM, Memorial at 1PM
TIME: 11AM—Meet at Crescent Park, 100 Crescent Park, Warren, PA 16365 & 1PM—Vigil at Rep. Kathy Rapp’s District Office, 404 Market, Warren, PA 16365

Can’t make it? You can still add your name and anything you want to say to the messages we’ll deliver to Rep. Rapp’s office during the memorial.

Nurses heading to the National Nurses March in Washington, DC

DATE: Thursday, May 12
LOCATION: Washington, DC

For nurses heading to the National Nurses March, we’re working to connect nurses to make plans together and coordinate rides! And you can find more details about the event in the leaflet below.

Click here to RSVP and let us know if you need or can provide a ride.

Find an event near you!

Nurses will be in motion across Pennsylvania to fight for safe staffing, engage our communities, and advocate for our patients and profession. Below is a list of upcoming public events, and ways to learn more about each event. 

The Pittsburgh Hospital Workers March

DATE: Saturday, May 7th
TIME: 11AM – 1PM
LOCATION: Meet at Morrow Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, end at Friendship Parklet

93% of Pittsburgh’s hospital workers are thinking about leaving their job. While hospital profits soar, short staffing, low wages, and unsafe working conditions are driving workers away from the bedside. We’re 3 years into the pandemic, and there’ve been no systemic changes to address the crisis. We’re tired of pizza parties & bandaid solutions.

This Nurses Week and Hospital Workers Week, hospital workers city-wide are joining together to demand real investments in recruiting and retaining hospital staff: that means improving pay & ensuring safe staffing.

We will gather in Morrow Park near Shadyside on May 7 with community members and local leaders — including Mayor Ed Gainey — to uplift the results of the PGH Hospital Workers Survey and demand immediate action from healthcare decision makers that will protect and support frontline workers.

Together, we will march to Friendship Parklet and conclude the day with a cookout!

Click here to RSVP and spread the word.

Wilke-Barre GWV Nurses Community Health Fair

DATE: Saturday, May 7th
TIME: 12-4PM
LOCATION: Kirby Park, 160 Market St, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Nurses at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center are giving back to our community and engaging the community about safe staffing legislation by holding a community health fair on Saturday, May 7, from 12-4pm at Kirby Park, 160 Market St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18704.

Bring the kids and enjoy healthy snacks, food, fun, and games while you take advantage of blood pressure screenings and get information on a host of public health issues.

Click here to RSVP and spread the word.

Altoona Press Conference & Commissioners Recognition

DATE: Tuesday, May 10th
LOCATION: In front of Blair County Courthouse, 423 Allegheny St, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

Join nurses to gather for a press conference about what we as nurses need from our state legislators to act for safe staffing laws as our County Commissioners recognize nurses for our work.

You can contact info@nursealliancepa.org for questions about this event.

Mount Nittany Healthcare Workers Community Job Fair & Luncheon 

DATE: Friday, May 13th
LOCATION: Teamsters Union Local 8 Hall, 2225 High Tech Road, State College, PA 16803

This year, come celebrate a newfound appreciation for healthcare workers and for the community we serve. Join us for delicious homemade food, family-friendly fun, and a lively conversation about improving care in region at our community Job Fair & Luncheon on Friday, May 13, from 11am to 5pm.

We welcome members of our community to come meet the Health Care Heroes of Mount Nittany Medical Center and talk about careers in healthcare and opportunities for employment at our hospital.

Mark your calendars now and join us on Friday for food, fun, and more!

You can contact info@nursealliancepa.org for questions about this event.

Solidarity Always,

Nurses of PA