1. Walker, Charisse RN

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"It All Comes Back to Staffing" (Editorial, February), in which Maureen Shawn Kennedy mentions Elizabeth Jasper, a nurse from Ohio who was killed while driving home after a busy 12-hour shift, was a true eye-opener for me. I am a mother, nurse, and student (enrolled in an RN completion program), and I work full time-12-hour shifts, 7 am to 7 pm. This article highlights how workplace fatigue is truly a matter of life and death.


Kennedy notes that the Joint Commission issued a sentinel event alert in 2011 to encourage hospitals to address the effect extended work hours and worker fatigue are known to have on errors and safety. Not enough hospitals have done so, though, and it doesn't seem like they are as mindful of worker safety as they are of patient safety.


Nurses must work together to urge health care administrators and chief executive officers to implement necessary changes-for example, by supporting the recently introduced Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act and other legislation that advocates adequate staffing.


Charisse Walker, RN


Jamaica, NY