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Why this petition matters

Started by Brittany Brothers

A letter dated January 24th, 2022 was sent by Congressman Welch and Congressman Griffiths to Jeffrey Zients, Covid-19 Response Team Coordinator, asking him to enlist one or more federal agency to investigate nurse staffing agencies for the rates they are charging hospitals. We are petitioning the government to prevent nursing pay caps and address the actual issues that are causing the collapse of our healthcare system and nurses to flee the bedside in droves.

Mr. Jeffrey Zients

Covid-19 Response Team Coordinator

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. Zients,

Congressman Welch and Congressman Griffith’s recent letter regarding cost of nurses made it abundantly clear that the actual factors contributing to devastation within the United States healthcare system continue to be overlooked by government officials. As the state of healthcare in this country continues to worsen at an alarming rate, it is imperative that the real factors causing the collapse of the United States healthcare system are addressed.

Nurses are the backbone of healthcare, and capping nursing pay will only lead to an even larger mass exodus of nurses from the bedside. Patients are dying in terrifying numbers due to lack of nurses willing to work in conditions at the bedside. Continuing to place blame on nurses, will result in even less nurses to care for patients. Nurses are licensed professionals and given the US legal system that often doesn’t account for human error caused by inadequate staffing, more and more nurses are unwilling to jeopardize their hard-earned licenses and/or ability to care for patients in areas that do not face the same liability. Beyond the licensure issues, the conditions at the bedside (that have been happening for decades) are truly abusive and traumatizing and would not be acceptable in any other profession. At this point, pay is often the only incentive, and taking it away would be utterly destructive.

We urge you to consider the following actions that can be taken at the government level to decrease nurse turnover rates and address them accordingly.

Direct Solutions
1.     Institute nation-wide nurse/patient ratio laws.

2.     Institute federal laws regarding physical abuse of healthcare staff.

3.     Provide government funding to hospitals for nursing staff.

4.     Provide government funding for ancillary staff.

5.     Provide substantial mental healthcare for nurses.

6.     Fully fund all nursing programs in the United States.

7.     Provide adequate funding to universities for nurse educators.

8.     Provide financial assistance to nursing students for childcare and housing.

9.     Provide health insurance for nursing students who need it.

10.  Make nursing licensure easier to obtain in the US by doing away with state-based licensure and instituting nation-wide licensure.

Indirect Solutions
1.     Cap pharmaceutical costs.

2.     Improve laws regarding insurance coverage requirements, particularly in the area of prevention.

3.     Provide adequate funding for preventative research. 

4.     Initiate an effective preventative research team to have a better understanding of what causes and perpetuates illness.

5.     Fund education for primary care providers.

6.     Improve nation-wide scope of practice laws for midlevel providers.

7.     Mandate insurance company coverage of a certain of registered dietitian visits.

8.     Focus on increasing access to care for populations in need.

9.     Increase funding for live-in care for the elderly population that is expected to nearly double by 2060.

10.  Require government officials to speak directly with healthcare workers in direct patient care to better understand the issues at hand.

The problems within our healthcare system and the profession of nursing have been on-going for decades. Our healthcare system was like a straw house, and COVID-19 was like the light gust of wind it needed to come crashing down. Continuing to side with major corporations who benefit from a sick country (i.e., hospital systems, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies) will inevitably result in unprecedented destruction to countless lives and our economy.

In the words of Congressman Welch and Congressman Griffith, “We urge you to ensure that this issue gets the attention from the federal government it merits to protect patients in dire need of life-saving health care treatment and prevent conduct that is exacerbating the shortage of nurses and straining the health care system.” Let this serve as a powerful reminder that true care for human life involves addressing the actual issues, regardless of financial benefit. Thank you for your time. We anticipate your response.


The countless United States nurses who stand by this statement.

5,804 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!