Our #NursePlatform: The Nurse Plan for Pennsylvania’s Recovery

    Now is the time to stand with nurses to demand that nurses have a say in the decisions being made about our patients and profession in Pennsylvania’s recovery plan. We need decision-makers to work with us to implement our #NursePlatform: The Nurse Plan for Pennsylvania’s Recovery.

    In this moment, being a nurse means guiding the PA recovery plan. We’re trained to advocate for our patients and residents and for the health of our communities. If you come to our facility, we want you — and us — to be safe and get well. But we’d prefer not to see you in our ICU’s. That’s why, as the Commonwealth turns from flattening the curve to organizing life with COVID-19 and no reliable vaccine, nurses’ experience, knowledge, and courage should guide every aspect of planning.

    Nurses support a safe recovery, which must be guided by healthcare professionals on the frontlines of the pandemic. Nurses want businesses and daycare centers re-opened. We want to schedule important elective surgeries, send our kids to school, and hug our friends and families. The sooner we can do these things safely, the better. But how and when we choose to do these things are literally matters of life and death, and we need to get it right.

    It’s time to put patient and public health advocacy above partisan politics. Pennsylvania’s legislators cannot continue to plan a pandemic recovery without nurses.

    Here’s how to do it right: The Nurse Recovery Plan for PA. We expect any plan for Pennsylvanian’s recovery to be guided by nurses’ expertise. Along with other medical professionals, we are united in our demand that any plan to put Pennsylvania back to work be accompanied by The Nurse Plan for Pennsylvania’s Recovery:

    Adequate PPE now and for the future.

    • Get workers on the frontlines the PPE we need to do our jobs right now, and to prevent workers from becoming sick or taking COVID-19 back to our families and communities.
    • Clear guidelines and accountability for facilities on proper usage.
    • Meaningful Investments to expand stockpile of PPE for workers — if we get another surge, we have to be ready.

    Widespread rapid testing and contact tracing.

    • We must be able to prevent outbreaks from becoming untraceable surges.
    • Any plan for testing and contact tracing needs to be supported by health professionals and the Department of Health.
    • Frontline workers employed to conduct testing and contact tracing should be paid.

    Paid sick time for every essential worker.

    • Sick people must be able to stay home instead of turning our workplaces into vectors of the pandemic.

    Nurses must have a seat at every table where recovery plans are being made.

    • This platform does not lay out the details of every policy possible. We are working on the frontlines busy doing our jobs. We need elected leaders to do theirs.
    • But we must have a voice in the decisions being made. Everywhere they’re being made.
    • We will face new developments and challenges throughout our process of recovery, and listening to us today will not be enough if you do not listen to us tomorrow.

    Workplace protections for nurses advocating for our patients.

    • Nurses must have a meaningful say in Pennsylvania’s recovery, be we cannot do so if we are afraid to speak out for fear of retribution.
    • Every nurse must have the right to form a union.
    • Every nurse, with or without a union, must be protected from retribution for advocating for their patients beyond the bedside.

    Get people the healthcare they need, regardless of the money they have.

    • We know that residents of Pennsylvania who likely had Coronavirus did not seek treatment for fear that they could not afford the bills. And under most insurance plans, people who seek testing but test negative are responsible for the costs. This makes all of us less safe and contributes to the spread of COVID-19.

    We must take steps to ensure things never get this bad again.

    • We need Safe Patient Limits for hospitals, nursing homes and school nurses — we entered a pandemic while nurses were already dangerously understaffed, burned out, and leaving the bedside in droves.
    • We need more nurses. Let’s create robust supports for a strong nurse pipeline, offer loan forgiveness programs for people who want to enter the profession.
    • As we confront the need to innovate learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to ensure that nursing students have access to necessary training, mentoring and safety protections as they complete their education and enter the workforce in the midst of the pandemic.

    We worked tirelessly to advocate for this platform, but a majority of the members of the legislature have failed nurses and patients in the pandemic on most aspects of The Nurse Plan for PA’s Recovery.

    That’s why we put together the Nurse Values Report Card. Nurses and the public deserve to know which candidates really value frontline caregivers, and which do not listen to or act on our advocacy. The Report Card boils down for you what we’ve learned from reaching out to every candidate multiple times, 124 candidate questionnaires, 110 candidate interviews, and grading the votes of every incumbent on their record on our issues.

    Check out the Nurse Values Report Card

    Use the Report Card to see how the candidates asking for your vote scored on our Nurse Values and The Nurse Plan for PA’s Recovery.

    Read the Nurse Values Survey Report

    The Nurse Plan for PA’s Recovery started with a survey of over 4,300 nurses on the that issues matter most to them and what they want to see their legislators working on. This Report summarizes the results of that survey!