2018 was a big year for our movement for safe patient limits in PA.

Together, nurses across PA have built a powerful grassroots movement, organizing and advocating for safe patient limits and a stronger voice for nurses in healthcare. 

Nurses of Pennsylvania started in the summer of 2017 with a handful of nurses fed up with Pennsylvania’s staffing and patient care crisis and the politicians who do nothing about it. Over the last year, we’ve made hundreds of visits to our legislators, put on PA’s first-ever Safe Staffing Summit, delivered 10k petitions to the Capitol in an ambulance, crowdfunded billboards, and helped elect pro-safe staffing candidates. In so doing, we have garnered more support for safe staffing legislation than ever before.

With so many politicians up for election this year, we wanted to draw a line in the sand: If candidates wanted nurses to support and vote for them, then they needed to pledge to support nurses and vote to pass safe staffing limits.

First we asked every candidate for Pennsylvania House, Senate, and Governor to pledge to support safe patient limits for hospitals and long-term care. We told them we’d let nurses know their answer before they vote, and then we worked to let nurses know where the candidates stand, building a statewide map for voters to check the stance of their candidates.

Then, we identified five races where safe staffing supporters needed to win in order for us to keep pushing forward (Governor’s race + 2 House races + 2 Senate races, supporting 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans). All five candidates won, including Maria Collett RN, a bedside nurse who’ll be joining the State Senate to advocate for safe patient limits!

In October and November, our grassroots movement of nurses knocked on over 2k doors, sent over 10k postcards, made over 20k phone calls, sent over 60k texts, and reached over 70k through social media – all for nurses to talk to nurses and voters about electing safe staffing champions.

Together, we have proved that nurses are a political force that can no longer be ignored.

Okay, so we did a lot! But what did we concretely achieve? Here’s an infographic showing our progress towards passing safe patient limits, comparing where we started last year, where we were before our Safe Staffing Summit, and where we stand after the election.

What we’ve done so far is amazing, but we’ve got a lot of work left to do!


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Find research and other resources on safe staffing laws.

Why Nurses are Coming Together:

Breaking Point: Pennsylvania’s Patient Care Crisis

We surveyed 1,000 nurses who work in hospitals, schools, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care and more — from Scranton to Erie to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia — and the results show a clear crisis in patient care with nurses spending less time at the bedside, chronic understaffing, and high turnover.

About Nurses of Pennsylvania

Nurses of Pennsylvania is an organization of, by and for nurses focused on improving the beside care nurses provide. PA nurses work in cities and small towns, at large hospitals, in nursing homes and more – tied together by their commitment to their patients, their families and their communities. United for quality care, Nurses of Pennsylvania is focused on leading the state to a healthcare system that puts patients first.

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Sign the petition for safe patient limits.

Find research and other resources on safe staffing laws.