'When It Matters Most, Insist on a Registered Nurse'

Nurses' Campaign to Alert Public to Dangers of Medical Technology and Erosion of Care Standards

Sweeping changes underway in the nation’s health care delivery system that expose hundreds of thousands of patients to severe risk of harm are the focus of a campaign by the nation’s largest organization of nurses announced today.


The New Face of Healthcare – Cause for Concern

Healthcare is changing.  And not for the better.  Behind all the pretty pictures on billboards showing a world where everyone “Thrives” there is a sinister reality. As local hospitals and clinics are gobbled up by giant corporations, the theme is cut costs (by which they mean your care) and raise their profits. Cheap outpatient clinics that sidestep critical healthcare regulations and lifesaving RN staffing ratios are promoted as “Improving access to healthcare.” 

TV ads tell you that you can get your diagnosis at home via Telemedicine without ever setting foot in the emergency room. And, more and more patients are finding that when you arrive in an emergency room, you have long waits for care, may get parked on hallway gurneys or in “observation” units with less medical attention. And if you do get in the door, be prepared to get pushed out soon, often when still at your most sick and vulnerable, to a nursing home or your own home where the burden for complex medical care falls on your family.

Insurance companies have long shown their first concern is collecting your premium dollars, and they lose money when you get care, so they impose restrictions on what care you can get, or what doctor or hospital you can see. Now hospitals are acting like corporate firms as well. They spend your patient care dollars on Wall Street investments, unproven technology, marketing or buying up other hospitals, while cutting those staff at the bedside, registered nurses, who are your first line of protection and your last line of defense.

On this page you’ll learn more about what to look out for in the changing healthcare world today – and a reminder, that when it matters most, insist on a registered nurse. It’s a registered nurse who puts the care in healthcare.

Legislative response to attacks on patient safety

National Safe RN-to-Patient Staffing Ratios (S. 739)

The National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act | S. 739 (Boxer)

“I am proud to introduce legislation that will help save the lives of countless patients by improving the quality of care in our nation’s hospitals,” Senator Boxer said. “We must support the nurses who work tirelessly every day to provide the best possible care to their patients.”

The legislation builds on the success of California’s historic law that set minimum nurse-to-patient ratios and extends those minimum standards to hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid.

Specifically, the national bill would:

  • Establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratios that will save lives, improve the quality of care and help to address the nursing shortage by creating a work environment that encourages nurses to remain in the hospital workforce;
  • Provide whistleblower protections to protect the right of nurses to advocate for the safety of patients and report violations of minimum standards of care;
  • Invest in nursing mentorship demonstration programs to better prepare nurses for work in a hospital setting.

Nurses from coast-to-coast campaign for state-based legislation:

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts

Learn more at our ratios website:

        California Patient Bill of Rights Legislation