Click hereJoint NNU and DCNA Press Release:  There can be no “moratorium” on fixing dangerously understaffed hospitals, say DC’s nurses.

For further information, contact:
Ken Zinn, NNU: 240-235-2008                   Ed Smith, DCNA: 202-425-8011

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, DC -- The District of Columbia’s nurses strongly reacted to the statement this week by District Council Chairman Phil Mendelson that he will put a two-year “moratorium” on bills coming before the Council that regulate the District’s businesses, including legislation that would mandate minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in DC hospitals.

“The registered nurses of the District of Columbia will never stop our advocacy on behalf of our patients, especially the necessity to ensure safe staffing in the city’s hospitals,” said LaKisha Little-Smalls, RN, a neo-natal intensive care nurse at Children’s National Medical Center and president of the District of Columbia Nurses Association, an affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU).  “We expect the elected officials of this city to step up and do their jobs and protect the health and safety of everyone who seeks care in our city’s hospitals.”

“We cannot and will not accept a ‘moratorium’ by elected leaders on ensuring safe care for our patients,” added Stephanie Sims, RN, a neo-natal intensive care nurse and NNU chief shop steward at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.  “We appreciate Chairman Mendelson’s sponsorship of our safe patient care bill and we expect the Council to take the bill seriously and pass it into law so that hospital patients stop being put at risk by irresponsible hospital executives.  Rest assured: there will be no ‘moratorium’ on our demands for safe patient care in our hospitals and it is absolutely unacceptable for any elected official to abdicate his or her responsibility to fix the problem of understaffing in our hospitals.”

National Nurses United is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States and represents 4,400 RNs working in the District of Columbia with its affiliate, the DC Nurses Association.

Every Child Deserves a Full-Time Nurse in His or Her School

Students have died because a nurse was not present in the school.  Recent student deaths occurred in the Philadelphia school system when a school nurse was not scheduled to work at the school.  We cannot have this happen in the District.

Many jurisdictions do not have an adequate number of nurses in the school system because of cost-saving measures. What is the value of a child’s life? The school nurse is the first line of defense for the health of children. School nurses monitor asthma, diabetes and many more chronic diseases. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 15-18% of American students have chronic health conditions.

DCNA believes that the District of Columbia will cut the funds of nurses in the school system which could lead to fewer nurses in the school system. The bottom line is that it is the duty of the DC Public Schools to protect our children and that means we need a nurse in every school throughout each school day.

The District of Columbia only requires a school nurse in every school for 20 hours per week.  We need a nurse in every school for 40 hours.

It is time for the District to put the health of the children first.  They deserve it.

If you support a full-time nurse in every school, sign this petition!

DCNA Fights for Full-time School Nurses at Every DC School
The DC Council held a hearing on October 25, 2016 to discuss the nursing program in DC Public Schools and Public Charter Schools.  For a Hearing update and to view testimony, click the links below:

School Health Services Hearing Update

School Health Services Program Hearing - Testimony  of R. Burns.pdf

School Health Services Program Hearing - Testimony of W. Blegay.pdf

School Health Services Program Hearing - Testimony of M. Hines 

School Health Services Program Hearing - Testimony of E. Middleton

School Health Services Program Hearing - Testimony of V. Holley-Trimmer


The District of Columbia Nurses Association (DCNA) is the professional organization for registered nurses who live and/or work in the District. DCNA is affiliated with National Nurses United, American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the Washington Metropolitan Council.

DCNA negotiates contracts that make sure nurses’ pay is competitive and commensurate with experience, years of service, responsibility, autonomy, and education. DCNA contracts provide guaranteed benefits, equitable policies, fair representation, job security, and practical solutions to everyday workplace problems affecting the professional lives of nurses.

DCNA encourages its members to get involved in leadership roles at the local and national level. Within the DCNA framework, nurses gain experience as volunteer lobbyists, media spokespersons, union advocates, and community activists.

Click here to view the December 2016 DCNA Newsletter.  For previous editions of the Newsletter, click here.

DCNA is located at:
5100 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Suite 306
Washington DC 20016
Telephone: 202.244.2705
Fax: 202.362.8285

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