Press Release

Nurses, Community Leaders to Call on DC Council Members Thursday to Pass Patient Protection Act

WASHINGTON, DC –Registered nurses joined by District of Columbia community leaders and activists will visit DC Council members Thursday to press the case for action on the Patient Protection Act of 2013 that would set specific limits on the number of patients for which registered nurses can safely provide care.

What:  Community Lobby Day for Passage of the Patient Protection Act
When:  Thursday, June 13, 10 a.m.
Where:  Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

The Act was introduced in February in the Council of the District of Columbia by Chairman Phil Mendelson and Council Members Yvette Alexander, Jack Evans, David Grosso, Anita Bonds, Jim Graham, Kenyan McDuffie, Marion Barry, Vincent Orange and Tommy Wells. A hearing on the legislation is pending before the District Council’s Health Committee.

The community lobby day begins with a 10 a.m. mass meeting at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, where Mendelson is expected to address the group, followed by delegations of nurses and community members who will go to meet with Council members.

Among the community organizations participating in the day are Catholics United, Jews United for Justice, Gray Panthers, District of Columbia Firefighters Association, DC Employment Justice Center, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, and the DC Building and Construction Trades Council.

Modeled after a 1999 law which has been successfully implemented in California, the Patient Protection Act of 2013 addresses this problem by establishing mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient ratios by hospital unit, create whistleblower protection for RNs and other healthcare workers who expose unsafe conditions, and ban mandatory overtime for RNs, a dangerous practice that can lead to medical errors.