Featured Testimonial

“There are no scientific studies or reports that demonstrate the effectiveness of government mandated, one-size-fits-all nurse staffing ratio for improving quality of care, patient outcomes or professional nursing practice. This ballot question is ignoring scientific fact around what is best for nursing practice, decision making and quality patient care.”

Donna Glynn, PhD, RN, ANP
President, American Nurses Association Massachusetts

All Testimonials

“Nationwide, healthcare has moved toward keeping patients out of hospitals, which is what home care, hospice and community services do. If we can’t recruit nurses, we can’t keep patients safe in their own homes. Question 1 would unwind our progress in transitioning to comfortable, home-oriented community care.”

Patricia Ahern, RN, MBA, FACHE
President & Chief Executive Officer, Care Dimensions

“We’ve made such strides in recent years in our health care system and access to care, and this ballot question would negate these efforts. The thought of a patient coming in with a life threatening condition and nurses not being able to immediately treat them because they are at their legal ratio scares me. This could put people’s lives in danger.”

Meghan Aldrich, RN
Sturdy Memorial Hospital

“As an educator I think a lot about the strengths of each nurse. Staffing is about the complexity of patient needs and the makeup of the nurses on the floor, and only nurses, not the government, know what will be best for their patients.”

Karli Barrett, RN, MS, NE-BC
Baystate Wing Hospital

“If there is a cap on the number of patients we can care for — what do we do if we are at our limit? We can’t put a sign up that says “Closed, come back tomorrow.” Especially looking back on this year’s flu season, the results of this mandate would be horrible. We need to protect our resources and remain as autonomous as we can in order to provide the safest and best care to our patients.”

Laura Bolella, RN
Baystate Health

“I worry about what will happen to patients who depend on community hospitals like mine, as the harmful effects of this bill will spread quickly throughout Massachusetts. This proposal could penalize us for saving a life — it would create circumstances in which providing life-saving care to a patient is against the law because of the inflexibility of the staffing ratios. Healthcare teams include many types of caregivers, and we all rely on one another to provide the best care.”

Maria C. Butay, RN, BSN, MHA
Nurse Manager
Emerson Hospital

“There is no formula for providing great care, especially not one dictated by government. We know our needs because we are on the front lines providing care every day.”

Susan Clancy, RN
South Shore Health

“It is a nightmare scenario. Patients will suffer through significantly longer wait times. Services will be eliminated. Hospitals will be forced to close. How can we possibly consider a policy that will erode our healthcare system and hurt our patients?”

Allison Conlon, RN
South Shore Health

“Nurses at the bedside know their patients the best and are aware that their needs can change minute to minute. They also know the experience levels of staff caring for these patients. However, with strict ratios, a senior nurse with 30 years’ experience would be breaking the law if he or she took care of an additional patient during a night shift or covered another nurse’s assignment as they accompany a patient to a test or procedure. Knowing that there are patients that need care and may not be able to receive it, is terrifying. Patient care is truly at stake here.”

Julie Cronin, RN, DNP, OCN
President-Elect, American Nurses Association Massachusetts

“Nursing is complex, not black and white. If I am taking care of four patients going through hip surgery, I’m managing four totally different situations — age, gender, other medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, family support, home care needs, etc. This policy is trying to treat our profession like we are machines on an assembly line.”

Amanda Ford, RN Case Manager
Emergency Department, Lowell General Hospital

“There are no scientific studies or reports that demonstrate the effectiveness of government mandated, one-size-fits-all nurse staffing ratio for improving quality of care, patient outcomes or professional nursing practice. This ballot question is ignoring scientific fact around what is best for nursing practice, decision making and quality patient care.”

Donna Glynn, PhD, RN, ANP
President, American Nurses Association Massachusetts

“The ballot question would undermine the professional judgment of nurses with a government mandate. Nurses will no longer have the flexibility to make real time decisions, which will negatively impact our entire professional practice. Furthermore, this would weaken the ability of nurses to work collaboratively with other members of the healthcare team in order to improve patient care.”

Diane Hanley, MS, RN-BC, EJD
Immediate Past President, American Nurses Association Massachusetts

“My ER is located by a major highway. If there is a multi-car pileup next to us but we are at capacity, do we have to send them elsewhere? The legislation does not address issues like this. Someone could have a massive heart attack in our waiting room and we could struggle to legally treat them right away.”

Liz Haran, Emergency Room RN
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center

“This measure would do us all a disservice, rippling out until it touches every member of our community in a detrimental way. Nurses will be distressed, because nursing is inherently about caring. We want to care for patients, and we want to help our colleagues, but these ratios would punish those who only want to help when their fellow nurses need them.”

Sarah Jordan, RN, NM
Clinical Nurse Manager, Emergency Department
Emerson Hospital

“Since the ICU law passed, Marlborough Hospital has suffered considerably. It is not unusual for us to transfer patients out when we can’t meet the ratio mandate, and currently, we can only staff eight patient beds when we are a ten-bed unit. This is not good for our patients or our community. To date, there is no evidence that the staffing ratios have improved quality or outcomes.”

John Kelly, RN
CNO and COO, UMass Memorial-Marlborough Hospital

“I currently work as a nurse in a Massachusetts correctional facility. This mandate will have a devastating impact on facilities like mine as well as on other community-based care centers, such as nursing homes, community health clinics and schools.”

Jim Kernan, R.N.

“My hospital is one of only three ‘critical access’ hospitals in the state, and the proposed nurse staffing law poses a great threat to how we successfully care for our community. Being a critical access hospital means that Athol Hospital is in a rural community where community members would significantly suffer if they had to travel outside the area for basic inpatient health care.”

Nancy J. Mallory, RN, BSN
Director of Nursing, Athol Hospital

“Determining nurse staffing is a clinical assessment; professional nurses assess the needs of patients along with the capabilities of the nurses, available support staff and other factors. Any nurse can tell you that their ability to take patients ‘depends’ on those factors. Rigid ratios will prevent patients from accessing care because even if the nurse can take another patient, the law would prevent it.”

Karen O. Moore, RN, MS, FACHE
Chief Nursing Officer, Lawrence General Hospital

“We already can’t find nurses for our vacant positions. I’m extremely nervous about the costs to my small community hospital, which serves a lower-income, often uninsured population. We don’t have the money for a staff influx. People will lose jobs because we won’t be able to maintain our current level of services.”

Kimberly Moriarty, RN
Director of Emergency Services, Lawrence General Hospital

“The costly impact of this ballot proposal will force hospitals to make difficult decisions that will have a ripple effect on the entire health care system. I worry that smaller community hospitals may have to close their doors if they are not able to afford mandated staffing ratios. And if those hospitals close, patients with critical health needs would then have to travel long distances to be seen. Patients deserve better.”

Joan Mullarky
Clinical Nurse Manager, Atrius Health

“If there is a question about appropriate staffing in a particular hospital, then it should be addressed by its nurses in the context of each hospital’s caregiving team, its patient mix, and its technological resources. Not all patients, not all nurses, and not all hospitals are alike – and there shouldn’t be a statewide law that treats them as identical.”

Pat Noga, PhD, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, FAAN
Vice President, Clinical Affairs, Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

“Patients are unique and complex – that is the beautiful part of delivering care. They come to us for individualized treatment so they can return to what is most meaningful in their lives. What that takes is different for each nurse and patient. Nurses should be the ones deciding how we staff ourselves, and to which patients. Staffing ratios are nothing more than arbitrary requirements, and do nothing to address each patient’s unique needs.”

Jensine Quealy, RN, BSN, CNM, MS
Sturdy Memorial Hospital

“Mandating the nurse levels at every hospital is like having the same speed limit on all roads at all times. We need flexibility, not rigidity in staffing.”

Timothy Quigley, DNP, RN, MBA, NEA-BC
Chief Nursing Officer, South Shore Medical Health System

“Staffing is complex, dynamic, and multi-faceted. It is important for professional nurses to have the flexibility to determine how to best meet the needs of their patients under frequently changing circumstances. This proposed law would take away that autonomy and flexibility that is so crucial to patient care.”

Sue Scott, RN, Ed.M., CPHQ
Nursing Quality Innovation Leader, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

“My prime focus as a nurse is keeping our patients and their families safe while providing excellent care. When I need to take on another patient to provide care, there should not be a law to make that impossible. This law would take away my abilities in decision making as a nurse. If a hospital is full and we are all at our maximum amount of patients — are we supposed to turn away people who are sick and need us? As nurses, this is not who we are.”

Briana Solek, RN
Baystate Health

“I worry about what will happen to specialty units like mine if we are forced to flood the unit with unspecialized nurses. There are subtle changes specific to neurology that our nurses are trained to watch for in patients, but that the average nurse is not.”

Danielle Souza, MSN, RN
Nursing Director Inpatient Neurosciences
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

“All of these consequences will occur despite there being absolutely no evidence to suggest that these rigid requirements will improve the quality of care provide to patients. Let’s focus on the aspects of our healthcare system that needs our attention, like mental health care and opioid treatment.”

David A. Spoor BSN, MHA, RN – FABC
Vice President for Patient Services/CNO, Sturdy Memorial Hospital

“As a labor and delivery nurse, I know emergencies happen with no warning. A mother in danger will arrive suddenly, and we need multiple nurses caring for her and her baby. I am concerned that hospitals will have to close units where such emergencies are common. ”

Sarah Thibodeau, RNC-OB
Clinical Educator, Labor & Delivery and Mother Infant Unit
Lowell General Hospital

“Nurses and nurse leaders currently manage staffing and patient assignments, every day. Nurses need to be able to make real-time staffing decisions to address the unique needs of every patient.”

Ashley Waddell, RN, PhDc
Organization of Nurse Leaders

“Nurse staffing is extremely complex and staffing needs can change quickly. It is essential that decisions related to nurse staffing be made collaboratively by those closest to the patient—direct care nurses and nurse leaders—in support of the highest quality care and experience. The RN staffing limits proposed in the ballot are not practical and more importantly, if passed, would have long-term, devastating effects on patient care including limiting access.”

Kevin Whitney, RN, DNP
Chief Nursing Officer
Newton-Wellesley Hospital

“As an assistant manager, nurse, and resident of this community, I know that a mandated nurse/patient ratio could lead to bed closures at the area hospitals. My parents and children live here as well and I would not want them diverted to another hospital in a neighboring state because we do not have the staff or beds to care for them!”

Pamela Zaranek-Kuhn, RN
Baystate Health