Nurses Rally Against Staffing Shortages

Nurses Rally Against Staffing Shortages

Nurses Rally Against Staffing Shortages and “For-Profit” Hospital Models
April 22, 2015

Thousands of registered nurses descended upon the state Capitol on Tuesday to raise awareness about the shortage of nurses in hospitals in New York City and across the state. City & State spoke with Anthony Ciampa, a registered nurse and a member of the board of directors for the New York State Nurses Association.


CS: Why is your association rallying at the state Capitol?

AC: We’re here today because there is a management-created staffing crisis and the public needs to be aware. Nurses are taking on way too many patients and it’s getting out of control. The Affordable Care Act really exacerbated this for-profit business model and we can’t do any mass production when it comes to human lives. Nurses are taking care of just too many patients and it’s just not safe. The mortality rate rises exponentially. Nurses are taking on seven, eight, nine, 15 patients at one time. There needs to be mandatory minimums and we’re coming from an ethical and moral standpoint. This is the health care everyone deserves when they come to a hospital.

CS: What can the state Legislature and the governor do to fix this problem?

AC: We need to bring [A0148 and S00782] to the floor for a vote. Right now they’re sitting on it and it’s not even going to make it through the Ways and Means committees. The sponsors are there, they’ll all vote for it, it’s time to bring this out. Our communities deserve it.

CS: How, if at all, is the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment process affecting this issue?

AC: We support the DSRIP, but we have to monitor it closely that the money is being allocated in ways that it’s meant to be used. We don’t want it to circumvent processes and create other ways for hospitals to maximize their profits while compromising patient care. The nurses are all for it. What we really want is preventative care to keep people out of the hospitals. The important thing is that we have the ability to give our patients the education, the time and the care they need.

CS: Why do you think this legislation has failed to pass through the state Legislature previously?

AC: I think because of the big health and hospital corporations. They want to maximize their revenue and I think it’s really wrong. They’re closing down hospitals in areas of need—important areas, like in Brooklyn and they are building hospitals in areas of greed, like the Upper East Side. We need an equal distribution of health care.

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Ashley Hupfl