After backlash, Washington state senator will shadow 12-hour nursing shift

A Washington state lawmaker has agreed to shadow a 12-hour nursing shift after facing backlash for her controversial comments about nurses, according to CNN.

State Sen. Maureen Walsh faced pushback from nurses after she said some nurses in small, rural hospitals “probably play cards” much of the time. She made the remarks April 16 on the Senate floor amid a debate on a bill that calls for uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses, in addition to protecting them against mandatory overtime.

After she made the remarks, an online petition signed by at least about 676,500 people called for the senator to “experience what really happens during an RN’s 12-hour shift” by shadowing a nurse. Ms. Walsh has accepted this offer, according to CNN.

"We put our heart and soul into our careers, and [the senator's] comments are incredibly far-fetched as to what actually happens," Chicago nurse Juliana Bindas, who created the petition, told the news station.

Ms. Walsh told CNN affiliate KOMO April 22 that her comments were not in proper context and that she was concerned the bill would negatively affect small, rural hospitals.

"I wish I could reel that comment back in. I certainly did not mean to imply that my nurses sit around playing cards all day," she added. "I have great respect for nurses. My mother was an RN for many years."

The bill reportedly passed the Senate with amendments to exclude small, rural hospitals from the bill, and ban nurses from working more than eight hours within a 24-hour period.

The senator opposed the bill.

 

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