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PSNA Video Cites Devastating Impact of COVID and Working Conditions

September 1, 2021, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), representing over 229,000 registered nurses in Pennsylvania, released a video today calling for urgent citizen action to reverse dramatic losses in nursing professionals due to unsafe working conditions, the COVID pandemic, and repeated natural disasters and emergencies. The message draws parallels between the 1889 Johnstown Flood and the present pandemic, and heroic humanitarian action led by nurses like Red Cross founder, Clara Barton.

Watch the new PSNA Announcement, “The Next Clara Barton,” here.



According to Betsy Snook, a registered nurse and PSNA CEO, this message points to several factors that have shaken the profession and threatens quality care for patients and their families.


“Let’s be clear. While it’s your prerogative to make the decision that’s right for you, don’t flex your freedom at the cost of another nurse’s life. Nurses are dying, and vaccinations and masks save lives. There’s a direct connection,” argued Snook. Adding, “If you want a nurse by your bedside, don’t gamble with their lives.”



Noah Logan, PSNA’s Government Affairs Specialist, says the state legislature’s inaction on safe staffing laws is also a major part of the problem. “We understand there’s been a philosophical and political tug-of-war surrounding staffing,” he said. Continuing, “But when entire hospital units are facing understaffing, the debate must end and action is required. Lawmakers must address the direct connection between staffing needs and quality patient care.”

For the first time, major nursing advocacy groups and unions are supporting a single piece of legislation they all agree would significantly improve hospital care across the state. The Patient Safety Act (House Bill 106 and Senate Bill 240) would limit the number of patients a nurse can be assigned, depending on the level of care required.




The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) is Pennsylvania’s leading professional nursing organization. Representing more than 229,000 professional nurses, PSNA leads, advocates, educates and connects with RNs across the Commonwealth. PSNA is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association.


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