• Our hospital systems have to innovate staffing models to cope with the reality of workforce shortages and not tie the hands of our both hospital staff and administrators with top-down solutions. Our nursing shortages are already causing delays for EMS transports, and we’re worried that a one-size-fits-all staffing requirement will result in the reduced access to less health care and not more.

    Jeff Faucett

    Fire Chief, South Kitsap Fire/Fire Chiefs Association
  • “Fewer than half of all rural counties have hospital based obstetrical services. This lack of prenatal care increases the likelihood by 3-4 times that women will die a pregnancy-related death. Because a requirement to hire more nurses does not actually create more nurses, the only way to meet the ratios or on-call limits in this bill would be to decrease the number of patients we serve. At our hospital, we have determined that will mean closing our labor and delivery unit. This will result in pregnant women driving hundreds of miles to a facility capable of safely delivering their unborn child and hoping that hospital has enough nurses to accept more patients.”

    Beth Goetz, RN

    Direct Care Nurse, Coulee Medical Center
  • “I have been a nurse for 36 years and worked as an ER Nurse for 13 years in California. In California, if a nurse in an inpatient unit called in sick and the unit couldn’t meet the ratio, they would close the unit to new admissions. Most patients are admitted from the emergency department. We couldn’t close the emergency department, so our ED would routinely be backed up with 50 patients waiting for 12 hours or more for care.”

    Susan Scott, RN

    Chief Operating Officer, Providence Holy Family Hospital
  • “We would likely close a portion of beds on each unit [if ratios are enaced]. When the inpatient units are full, patients have to wait in the emergency department. As any nurse can tell you, when patients wait too long or leave without being seem, their health is at much greater risk.”

    Elizabeth Wako, MD, RN

    Chief Executive, Swedish Central Puget Sound
  • “As a witness in California, I have seen coworkers take advantage of the ratio cap; bedside nurses with four patients refusing to take an admit from the emergency room. If we’re going to cap my emergency room at four patients for non-critical [medical needs], I am confident that we will soon have to close our doors.”

    Mike Martinoli, RN

    Chief Nursing Officer and Quality Improvement, Ferry County Memorial Hospital
  • “I believe that more rules that try to make every patient require the same level of care will continue to erode the nurses’ ability to use their clinical judgment on how to best care for their patients. Please don’t legislate us out of our ability to provide quality care to our patients and our communities.”

    Jeannie Eylar, RN

    Chief Nursing Officer, Pullman Regional Hospital
  • “Our small hospital provides critical emergency surgeries. The next closest hospital is 30 minutes away in Oregon, and as you know, time matters for patients. The nurse and CNA staffing mandates would have a devastating impact on our emergency department. We live in a small town, but it is also a vacation destination. Last fourth of July we had two traumas come in at the same time, and we cannot send patients away who need emergency care, but we also don’t have enough staff to meet the proposed requirements.”

    Brenda Sharkey, RN

    Chief Nursing Officer, Ocean Beach Hospital
  • “We need more nurses, not rigid requirements that don’t allow for clinical judgment and flexibility.  Over the last three weeks, 20 percent of our nurses have called out sick. Are we supposed to transfer patients out who had planned to deliver babies in our hospital and whose babies needs NICU care because we are understaffed?”

    Katy Erickson, RN

    Nurse Manager for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Tacoma General Hospital, MultiCare Health System
  • "Here at Overlake, we have already 200 vacancies for nurses, and we have done everything we can think of to fill those vacancies in our hospital. We pay some of the highest collectively bargained wages and benefits for our nurses in the state, we paid millions of dollars in bonuses for picking up extra shifts, we’ve hired more recruiters, we’ve doubled our tuition reimbursement and we continue to struggle because the nurses we’d love to hire simply don’t exist.

    Lisa Morten

    Chief People Officer, Overlake Medical Center & Clinics