Media Release for March 12, 2019
Special Election Proves Nurses to be Growing Political Force
Rep.-Elect Bridget Malloy Kosierowski, RN, wins with significant support from fellow nurses eager for representation in push for safe patient limits
CLARK SUMMIT, Pa. – Registered Nurse Bridget Malloy Kosierowski won a high profile special election in the 114th House District on Tuesday, with early reports showing a margin of 25%.
This victory comes one week before the introduction of legislation in the State House that would set safe patient limits for hospitals, widely considered to be Pennsylvania nurses’ top legislative priority, and the message is clear: nurses are a growing political force in Pennsylvania. Rated by Gallup as the most honest and ethical profession for 17 consecutive years, it is not surprising that voters are choosing to trust nurses with their votes.
Kosierowski appealed directly to the nurse base in her district, stating her support for safe patient limit laws in a video released in February.
“We need to send more dedicated, hard-working caregivers to Harrisburg to fight for improvements for everyone in our community,” said Kosierowski in the video. “That’s why I do support safe patient limits.”
“Pennsylvania is in a serious patient care crisis,” said Caryn Leifer RN, who volunteered to contact nurse voters about the special election. “As nurses, we’re taught to advocate for our patients at the bedside, but unsafe staffing is a public health crisis that must be addressed through legislation. That’s why nurses are extending our patient advocacy beyond the bedside, because right now it’s our only choice to get our patients the care they need.”
Caryn was one of many nurses across the state who volunteered with the grassroots advocacy group Nurses of Pennsylvania to inform the more than 1,200 nurses registered to vote in the 114th district about Kosierowski being a working nurse and her support for safe patient limit legislation. Demonstrating the power of nurse advocacy in this race, Nurses of Pennsylvania volunteers ran a nurse-to-nurse voter contact campaign that included nearly 2,000 phone calls and 1,000 text messages in the final few weeks leading up to the election.
“This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue,” said Leifer. “Right now, patients are often shuffled through the system rather than getting personal, individualized care which can be lifesaving. We need to fix this broken system, and we know having a nurse like Representative-Elect Kosierowski on our side in the House will help to get it done.”
On Tuesday, March 20th, Nurses of Pennsylvania will join Rep. Gene DiGirolamo and another nurse legislator, Sen. Maria Collett, RN, for a press conference in Harrisburg to reintroduce legislation for the 2019-2020 session that would set safe limits on the number of patients hospital nurses can be assigned (Formerly House Bill 1500 and Senate Bill 214).
About Nurses of Pennsylvania: Nurses of Pennsylvania is a grassroots movement of nurses for quality care and respect. Formed in May 2017 by 80 nurses, over 12,000 nurses have now signed up as supporters. To learn more, visit our website at www.nursesofpa.org.