The following statement is on behalf of Brian J. Burger, MSN APRN AGACNP-BC RNFA CCRN, President of the Ohio Nurses Association:
“We’re extremely disappointed House Bill 456 – legislation that would make Ohio the 19th state to prohibit nurse mandatory overtime – was not heard by the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee, and therefore was not passed this general assembly. The Ohio Nurses Association learned that the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic recently took a strong position opposing the legislation, and therefore blocked the bill from moving forward. All healthcare organizations should have the same overarching priority of safe patient care, and it’s saddening for two major Ohio health systems to not share this priority.
We will not let this issue of unsafe nursing practice, and jeopardized patient care, rest. We are prepared to move forward and advocate for re-introduction this vital piece of legislation in the next general assembly, while continuing to educate Ohioans on the importance of evidence-based nurse staffing.
Additionally, we have begun a letter-writing campaign. We ask you join us in demanding OSU revise their position of opposition. You can sign on to the letter here.
On behalf of ONA, thank you to Ohio’s nurses for rallying behind House Bill 456- and the promise of safer care it represents. Your support through social media, stories, petition signatures, rallies and trips to the statehouse have been instrumental in our bill making it this far, and we should not downplay our achievement of passing the Ohio House in just one assembly lifecycle. While few bills progress this far, we are more determined than ever to secure passage of safe staffing legislation in the next general assembly.
I also want to thank the Jaspers, specifically Emma Jasper, for her bravery in providing testimony in the House Health Committee. Emma’s mother tragically died from a car accident – a horrible consequence of nurse fatigue. Emma’s testimony was key in House Bill 456 passing the House of Representatives and gets to the very heart of why Ohio patients deserve safe nurse staffing.
As we move forward, we need all nurses in the fight for patient and nurse safety- whether through collective bargaining or at the statehouse. Safe nurse staffing is an issue for all of us, whether you’re the nurse working or the patient receiving care. Together we can build upon Ohio law, and make Ohio a state that prioritizes our patients and the care we deliver.”