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May 5, 2016

Illinois Nurses Association Rally Press Release!

By | Advocacy | No Comments

INA-Official-logo204x116Contact:  Doris Carroll, RN; 773.480.1137 or Chris Martin, INA Media Relations, 630.670.2745; media @illinoisnurses.com

Illinois Nurses Association partners with national nursing organizations for safe staffing rally on May 12

Goal is to support, pass federal legislation to make health care safer


Chicago—May 4, 2016–The Illinois Nurses Association has joined Nurses for National Patient Ratios, A Voice for Nurses Now and Show Me Your Stethoscope to mobilize nurses and nursing students across the country to attend the Rally for National Nurse-to-Patient Ratios in Washington DC on May 12, 2016. This collaboration will exemplify the goals of these groups by uniting all nursing groups for one day in one place, for one cause.

The Rally for National Nurse-to-Patient Ratios will take place on May 12 — Florence Nightingale’s birthday — on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building. The rally will begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day with speakers continually being added to the roster.

The groups are uniting to support The Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2015 (H.R.1602) – introduced by Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL),  and The National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act (S. 864).  In support of these bills, a grassroots movement of nurses across the United States have organized to bring awareness and rally in Washington DC, as well as at State Capitols across the United States.  Schakowsky will address the rally on the 12th.

“There is a strong relationship between adequate nurse-to-patient ratios and safe patient outcomes,” said Doris Carroll RN, vice president, Illinois Nurses Association.  Carroll has made nurse-to-patient ratios a focus of her work at INA and has been influential in collective bargaining agreements between INA and her hospital, the University of Illinois Hospital.  She has played a key role in organizing the rally and has personally lobbied legislators about safe staffing issues.


“Rising patient acuity and shortened hospital stays have contributed to the challenge of improving patient outcomes and patient satisfaction in hospitals, LTC and outpatient settings as unsafe RN staffing continues to be problematic.  Finding an optimal nurse-to-patient ratio has been a national challenge, despite years of evidenced based research which reveals having less RNs at the bedside results in increased morbidity and mortality,” she added.

About the Illinois Nurses Association

The Illinois Nurses Association is the nurses’ union, at the forefront, fighting for nurses’ rights and empowering them to be the best advocates for their patients and their community. INA is the nursing union in the State of Illinois, providing professional representation, improving wages and terms and conditions of employment for nurses in bargaining units represented by the INA, creating an environment where all RNs can participate and lead in protecting patient care by organizing unorganized RNs that do not have the professional standards that INA represented members have gained.

INA currently represents nurses working in the private and public sector in Illinois. For more information about the INA, visit http://www.illinoisnurses.com or www.facebook.com/IllinoisNurses.

About A Voice For Nurses Now

Founded by two nurses in Fall of 2015 after Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson spoke for nurses all over the world that nursing is a talent requiring skills, intelligence, empathy, poise, and a STETHOSCOPE. Like Miss Colorado, AVFNN wants to give the nurses that don’t have that voice, that voice and a place to be heard regarding safe working environments and patient safety. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/A-Voice-for-Nurses-Now- 1674270332795098/?ref=avmt_homepage_panel

About Show Me Your Stethoscope

SMYS is a Nursing Empowerment organization with nearly 700,000 members, designed to be a platform from which nurses can advocate for themselves. This group was formed when Janie Garner, RN from Missouri asked nurses from far and wide on social media to show her their stethoscopes. While SMYS began because of nurses rallying around one of their own it has greatly evolved into a unique, supportive environment for health care providers that provides a strong, united voice for health care providers on issues such as patient advocacy and policy change. SMYS upports their personal and professional needs and creates philanthropic opportunities for members. For more information, please visit www.SMYSOfficial.com

About Nurses for National Patient Ratios

Nurses for National Patient Ratios is a grassroots movement that is focused on improving patient safety by advocating for having a national standard for nurse to patient ratios. The group is founded by Kristine Fry, a registered nurse who has worked in California where set nurse to patient ratios is a legislative mandate. She has experienced firsthand the difference in nursing care that occurs when nurses are only given a safe nurse to patient ratio. Set ratios are clear, concise, and specify the maximum number of patients that a nurse can care for safely. We want revolution. We want to be the change agent. We want the resources to be the nurses we strive to be. For more information please visit: https://www.facebook. com/groups/929997953713716

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“Community College Attitude”

By | Education | 6 Comments

Today, I had a nursing student text me, obviously upset. (Yes, I have given several nursing students my phone number. I mentor people, ok? lol)  Apparently, the whole Staff/Rod of Asclepius/Caduceus subject came up.  The Caduceus was originally depicted on their class shirts, and someone wanted to change the symbol because it was ‘wrong’. Apparently, a ridiculously pretentious neurologist told the class that they should change the symbol, because the error indicated a ‘community college attitude’. This is going to take me a few paragraphs, and perhaps a drink.  Stay with me.


  • The error actually came about because of the US Army Medical Corps, who began using it in 1902.  It is also the symbol of the Navy Hospital Corps, of which I am a proud lifetime member.  So, neurologist…. since the closest you have ever come to a uniform was the one your prep school wore, kindly stuff it.  For real. We, the Navy Hospital Corps are extremely proud of our symbol; which because of its long use, has become a medical symbol.  The symbol for ‘STOP’ is fairly new too.  That doesn’t make it invalid.  It was first used in 1915.  Please fail to stop at a few dozen and explain to the police officer that the symbol is too new to be valid. Also, it was changed a ton of times between 1915 and 1966 until a law standardized its use.  So the age of a symbol does not make it valid, and we can make our own traditions in the modern age.  Also, stuff it again.
    Caduceus Medical Symbol

    Caduceus Medical Symbol…And the Staff.

  • I am going to clarify the term ‘community college attitude’.  Does that mean a ‘dumb’ attitude? Or does it mean a ‘permanently wrong attitude’? Or maybe a ‘completely uneducated’ attitude? “A ‘totally out of touch with the world’ attitude?  We have enough problems in nursing without physicians throwing their two cents in to fire up an argument. I highly doubt that you, Sir have ever been aware of the educational level of a nurse who saved your behind. It probably wasn’t your first priority when you were ordering ten times too much potassium, or failing to order INR’s on your warfarin-prescribed patient.  You were most likely too busy wiping off the cold sweat to ask her where she went to school. While we may or may not need a single level of practice entry, we certainly do NOT need your insults.
  • Nursing students: You have larger priorities than a symbol.  Your class T-shirt will be long dust, and you will be short staffed and operating in a dangerous environment in no time.  While you are chewing over the relative merits of ancient symbols, your classmates and contemporaries are doing something that actually matters.  That is, bringing unity to a profession of rugged individualists; going to safe staffing rallies; signing petitions; calling and writing their representatives.  You know…useful stuff.  You just get back to your comparative mythology.  


Oh, and as we know….I love Physicians.  Except that one. Don’t let anyone give you another reason for division.





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