California Nurses Association Release: California Nurses Begin Ad Campaign To Criticize Governor For Decision To Erode Safe Staffing Law

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Nurses Association today unveiled the opening of a radio advertisement campaign to criticize a decision by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this month to weaken patient protections in California hospitals.

Ads will begin today on radio stations in the Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento market. The radio ads are part of an escalating effort by CNA and RNs across California to challenge a unilateral executive order by the governor, made on behalf of the hospital industry, to sharply erode the state's safe staffing law. Initial elements of the CNA campaign include:

-- Radio ads across California.

-- A major rally at the State Capitol December 1. Hundreds of RNs from across the state will attend, joined by legislators and community leaders. Additional public protests are currently being planned.

-- Hundreds of letters and calls by RNs that have already gone to the Governor.

-- Meetings with many hospital administrators demanding that they adhere to the pre-executive order requirements of the law.

"The Governor's order, made simply to please wealthy hospital corporations, will have immediate consequences for the health and safety of all Californians who will now needlessly be placed at risk," CNA President Deborah Burger, RN. "RNs across the state are outraged and will not stand by when it comes to protecting California patients and their families."

Gov. Schwarzenegger's order suspends for three years any improvement in medical and post-surgical unit ratios where about one-third of all hospital patients are placed, and sharply erodes staffing protections in emergency rooms.

Burger noted that for each additional patient assigned to an RN the likelihood of death within 30 days increased by 7 percent. "That's the threat to patients as a result of the delay in safer care in medical and post-surgical units." The ER ratios will result in longer patient waits, more patients leaving without receiving needed medical attention, and a lower standard of safety overall in emergency rooms, she said.

(Media note: for a listing of the stations where the ad is running, and a copy of the ad, please call 510-273-2246 or 510-273-2251.)

California Nurses Association

CONTACT: Charles Idelson, +1-510-273-2246, or +1-415-559-8991 (cell),for the California Nurses Association

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