Nurses protesting cost cutting as dangerous to sick

March 31, 1995|By Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Thousands of nurses from around the nation were expected in Washington today for a march to protest cost-cutting measures they say are making hospitals dangerous places for sick people.

A survey released last month by the American Nurses Association, one of several sponsors of today's march, found 44 percent of hospitals are using "minimally skilled workers" to replace some of their licensed nurses.

Of 1,835 registered nurses surveyed, 68.4 percent said professional nursing at their hospitals had been reduced in the previous 12 months, and 17.5 percent reported an increase in errors affecting patient safety.

Today's march was beginning at noon in front of the Capitol, then proceeding up Pennsylvania Avenue to the near the White House. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., other members of Congress, nurses and national nursing advocates were scheduled to speak at a rally in Lafayette Park. The ANA is seeking federal legislation requiring hospitals to release information on nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes to the public.

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