RNs - Texas

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Borderland Nurses Rally For Patients In Washington, DC - video

Dena Richardson, KFOX News, May 12, 2010 El Paso - Roughly a thousand nurses rallied in Washington DC on Wednesday, including a few from the borderland. Monica Sanchez, a registered nurse from El Paso, said she traveled nearly 2,000 miles in hopes of sending a message to Congress. "We need to do better," said Sanchez. "We really need to advocate for our patients and get the staffing ratios to help us help the patients." Sanchez said the growing demand for health care, coupled with a shortage of nurses, has forced many nurses to take care of more patients. So she and many other nurses want Congress to pass mandatory nurse to patient ratios. ... Borderland

Houston Nurses Vote for Union - Again

James Parks, AFL-CIO, April 30, 2010 In a dramatic expression of solidarity and support for a stronger voice to speak out for patients and themselves, nearly 300 registered nurses at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital in Houston voted to remain members of National Nurses Organizing Committee-Texas, the state’s affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU). The vote defeated a proposal to withdraw the union at the facility, the first private-sector hospital in the state to unionize. The nurses first voted in March 2008 to join the union. Says Erica Ramhatal, an RN at the medical center: We stand together to make a better workplace for our patients and for ourselves. ... Houston

Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center nurses affirm union

LM Sixel, Houston Chronicle, April 29, 2010 For the second time in two years, nurses at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center voted in favor of union representation. The National Labor Relations Board announced that the nurses rejected, by a 113-97 vote, an employee's request to decertify the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee as their representative. It has represented the nurses since 2008. The vote was last June, but the ballots weren't counted until this week because of unresolved unfair labor practice charges, according to the NLRB. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center said in a statement that it was disappointed by the vote ... Cypress

Nurses' civil suit delayed

Odessa American, April 19, 2010 Pecos - A pre-trial hearing scheduled Monday was postponed until next month in the civil lawsuit two former Winkler County nurses filed against Winkler County Memorial Hospital and several county officials after they were terminated from the hospital. One of the nurses, Anne Mitchell, was acquitted in February in a trial that attracted national attention. Mitchell had been charged with filing an anonymous complaint in “bad faith” against Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr. ... Nurses

Texas Nurses Back in the News

Beth Janicek, InjuryBoard.com, March 10, 2010 The two former Winkler County nurses are back in the news after filing a federal lawsuit on the county officials who prosecuted them and the hospital administrator who fired them. Last month Anne Mitchell was prosecuted for filing an anonymous complaint against Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr. Although the jury ultimately found her justified in reporting Dr. Arafiles and acquitted her of felony charges, many fear that this lawsuit would cause a disastrous chilling effect among whistleblowers in the nursing community. The two nurses are seeking compensation for their termination from Winkler County Memorial Hospital and damages for “emotional pain and suffering.” They claim that a vindictive prosecution deprived them of their civil rights.

Nurse acquitted: But trial could impact profession, patients

El Paso Times Editorial, February 16, 2010 Anne Mitchell, a nurse in West Texas, knew she was doing the right thing when she informed the Texas Medical Board that a doctor she worked with was endangering patients. Instead, she ended up standing trial on "misuse of official information" charges, a third-degree felony in Texas. The case against another nurse who helped Mitchell write the letter was dropped earlier. According to a New York Times story, the doctor complained to his friend the sheriff, who obtained a search warrant, seized the nurses' computers and found the letter. The story has a happy ending or sorts: She was acquitted Thursday by a jury that determined that she ... Nurse

Nurse to Stand Trial for Reporting Doctor

Kevin Sack, New York Times, February 7, 2010 Kermit - It occurred to Anne Mitchell as she was writing the letter that she might lose her job, which is why she chose not to sign it. But it was beyond her conception that she would be indicted and threatened with 10 years in prison for doing what she knew a nurse must: inform state regulators that a doctor at her rural hospital was practicing bad medicine. When she was fingerprinted and photographed at the jail here last June, it felt as if she had entered a parallel universe, albeit one situated in this barren scrap of West Texas oil patch. “It was surreal,” said Mrs. Mitchell, 52, the wife of an oil field mechanic and mother of a teenage son. ... Nurse

No more mandatory overtime for nurses

LM Sixel, Houston Chronicle, September 2, 2009 Hospitals in Texas can no longer require registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses to work mandatory overtime. The law, which went into effect Tuesday, makes Texas the 15th state to prohibit the practice of forcing nurses to work longer than their scheduled shifts. “It's very, very important for patient safety,” said Fernando Losada, state director of the National Nurses Organizing Committee Texas in Austin. The group is part of the California Nurses Association, a union which lobbied legislators for the law. Nurses typically work 12-hour shifts, he said, and it's common for managers to tell nurses to come in early or stay ... No

Texas Considers Ban on Mandatory Overtime for Nurses

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, August 13, 2009 Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) is expected to sign legislation that would prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses, Healthcare Finance News reports. According to the associate director of State Government Affairs at the American Nurses Association, many states currently have varying degrees of overtime restrictions in place for nurses. However, in most instances, such overtime restrictions focus on voluntary rather than involuntary overtime and exert no cap on the total number of hours worked. Healthcare Finance News notes that such legislative efforts have historically been met with apprehension from hospitals and hospital associations concerned that the laws are tantamount to dictating staffing decisions.

Nurses’ division over union is still raw

LM Sixel, Houston Chronicle, May 21, 2009 Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center is a fairly small hospital - only 181 beds - but its nurses made history last year when they joined a union. It was a close election - 119 to 111 - but the victory made Cy Fair the only private-sector unionized hospital in Texas, a development that understandably attracted the attention of Houston’s larger medical community. But as in many elections, some of the workers on the opposing side weren’t happy to be represented by the California Nurses Association. Fast-forward a year, and the wounds seem just as raw. The same dissident group of registered nurses ... Nurses

House OKs nurse staffing bill

Corrie MacLaggan, News-Journal, May 20, 2009 The Texas House today gave final approval to Senate Bill 476, which seeks to increase the role of nurses in hospital staffing decisions. It would require that 60 percent of the members of a hospital’s nurse staffing committee be nurses. And it would prohibit mandatory overtime for hospital nurses in most cases. The bill’s author, Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said the proposal is a way to retain nurses at a time when Texas is dealing with a nursing shortage. ... House

Bill would prohibit mandatory overtime for Texas nurses

Alexis Patterson, CBS 42, May 18, 2009 Some say a nursing shortage may be putting patients in jeopardy at Texas hospitals – and they blame stressful working conditions for that shortage. Now some Texas lawmakers are set to consider a bill supporters say will help improve nurses’ working conditions. According to figures from the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, Texas was short 22,000 registered nurses last year. Supporters of this bill say even though nursing schools are graduating more RNs, it’s not enough to close the gap. They say the solution is to do more to retain nurses that hospitals already have on staff. ... Bill

Dying for Nurses

Dave Mann, Texas Observer, March 20, 2009 When dozens of nurses from around the state rallied at the Capitol on March 4, everyone had a story. Anita Prinz, from outside Houston, told of nurses having to care for a dozen hospital patients at once. Tom Laughlin, from the Dallas area, said he frequently has to choose which critically ill patient to care for and which to leave alone for a few minutes. There were sad anecdotes about unattended patients falling, unnecessary deaths, and overworked nurses leaving the profession. Even Representative Senfronia Thompson had a tale. ... Dying

Nurses seek legislative mandates on nurse-to-patient ratios

Proposal has critics, including Texas Nurses Association. Corrie MacLaggan, Austin American-Statesman, November 14, 2008 Texas nurses rallied at the Capitol on Thursday, arguing for legislation limiting the number of patients per nurse. They say it's crucial for providing proper care - and to keep nurses on the job amid a nursing shortage. "When there are too many patients to each nurse, we can't get to all of these patients and be on top of the things we're supposed to be on top of," said Beverly Leonard of Austin, a registered nurse with 40 years' experience. ... Nurses

Nurses rally for patient safety (video)

Nurses across the State of Texas rallied for patient care Thursday at the Texas State Capitol in support of the Texas Hospital Patient Protection Act of 2009. KVUE News, November 13, 2008 The nurses say they gathered for the patients under their care. The Texas Hospital Patient Protection Act would serve two purposes. First, it would give nurses the ability to serve as patient advocates and protect them when they are exposed to unsafe conditions. It would also set a nurse-to-patient ratio in the State of Texas at a number that is safe so nurses will only care for the number of patients that is safe for the patient. ... Nurses

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