Washington GOP legislator says nurses “play cards”

A Washington GOP legislator who opposes a bill that would require hospitals to give nurses uninterrupted meal and rest breaks has claimed, without evidence, that nurses in small hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.” The state nursing association blasted her remarks.

Sen. Maureen Walsh, who represents three rural counties in a deep-red corner of the state, wants to exempt small hospitals from the law. She also wants to limit nursing shifts to 8 hours. She said over 60% of small hospitals operate in the red, suggesting she thinks hospital profits are more important than nurses’ working conditions.

The bill passed with both of her amendments, but she voted against it anyway. It’s awaiting reconciliation with the lower house. The governor has not said whether he will sign it. Read story here.

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