Spin Cycle

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ALBANY - Nurses are pushing the Legislature to require more hiring to reach safer levels of staffing in health care facilities statewide.

More than 1,000 registered nurses lobbied lawmakers in Albany last week in one of the biggest efforts of its kind this year.

“Right now, in our state, nurses in some facilities are being forced to care for 10, 15, even 20 patients at once. That’s dangerous!” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, a registered nurse who is head of the New York State Nurses Association. “That’s why we’re fighting for safe staffing ratios in all of our hospitals. We have no choice — our patients’ lives depend on it!”  

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The measure would force more costs on a health care system that has already been marked by big, annual increases in health insurance premiums. At the same time in Albany, several measures seek to reduce the health care costs on employees and employees.