I have been a registered nurse for almost five years and currently work on a postpartum unit. I want a long career in nursing but do not know how many years I can survive in a job at the bedside, due to the unsafe conditions we nurses are forced to work under.

The continuous moral injury to nurses as a result of these conditions is devastating. Nurses are leaving inpatient care settings in droves because we no longer want to be subjected to the gruesome moral injury being inflicted upon us by our employers as a result of unsafe and cruel nurse-to-patient ratios.

Hospitals say nurse-to-patient ratios are impossible due to a “nursing shortage.” This is categorically false. There is no nursing shortage, just a shortage of jobs that we nurses feel safe and valued working in. Hospitals have been purposefully understaffing nurses for years. This exploitation of our moral natures and manipulation of our drive to care will not stand. The issue is not my unwillingness to work; it is the unimaginable greed of the hospital.

We need legislatively mandated nurse-to-patient ratios. We are the most trusted profession in America, and we are asking people to trust us now. You trust us to advocate for you and your loved ones; please trust that we are our best advocates. Please pass L.D. 1639, the legislation we nurses so desperately need.

Emma Cooper

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