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US nurses to demonstrate in Washington over patient ratios

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Hundreds of nurses from across America are to march and rally in Washington DC next week as part of a national day of action calling for a law guaranteeing a safe ratio of nurses to patients in hospitals.

The event is to coincide with the introduction of a bill, sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer, which is modelled on an existing law in California.

California’s RN-to-patient ratio law was introduced last year after years of campaigning by the California Nurses Association (CNA).

A national law would ‘end the common hospital industry practice of overloading RNs with too many patients, thereby depriving patients of adequate nursing care, a practice which prematurely ends the life of tens of thousands of American patients each year,’ the CNA said.

The nurses, from the  CNA and its national arm, the National Nurses Organising Committee, will first hold a morning conference, then march and rally at mid-day and will then go to Capitol Hill to advocate for the ‘Boxer Bill’.

They will also promote their call for comprehensive healthcare reform, including improvements in quality of care, nurse protection and healthcare access concerns.

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