HCN News & Notes

Nurses Blast Question 1 in Latest TV Ads

BOSTON — The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety recently announced the launch of several new television, radio, and social media ads to be aired across Massachusetts in opposition to the nurse staffing ballot question, slated to be Question 1 on the ballot this November.

The ads feature local nurses explaining to voters how the measure would apply a government mandated, one-size-fits-all approach to nursing, threatening quality of care, leading to longer wait times and limiting access to care.

“I feel like I’m the patients’ quarterback,” said Ann Marie Thompson, a Massachusetts RN, in an ad. “I know what they need, so don’t take that away from me. If nurses lose that ability at the bedside to advocate for the patient, then it’s the patient that will suffer.”

 “Most nurses in Massachusetts do not support this ballot measure,” said Allison Conlon, a Marshfield nurse with more than 24 years of experience featured in the radio ad. “If this ballot measure passes, hospitals and our patients will suffer.”

The new ads launched on August 8 alongside an ad similar to one seen throughout May and June featuring Amanda Ford, an RN at Lowell General Hospital. The new ads send a clear message that members of the Coalition, including almost every nursing and healthcare organization across the state, are serious about the dangers Question 1 would pose to patients.

“The government does not know what it takes to care for a patient. We’re the ones that do,” said Amanda Ford, a resident of Dracut and a Registered Nurse at Lowell General Hospital featured in the ads. “This ballot measure would be disastrous.”

 The ballot question, proposed by the Massachusetts nurses’ union, which represents less than a quarter of nurses in the Commonwealth, would require that hospitals across the state, no matter their size or specific needs of their patients, adhere to the same rigid nurse staffing ratios within all patient care areas at all times. The petition does not make allowances for rural or small community hospitals, holding them to the same staffing ratios as major Boston teaching hospitals. 

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