Fort Washington, Pa. May 10, 2024 − In honor of National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12), Senator Maria Collett, RN (D-12 Montgomery) introduced several resolutions recognizing Pennsylvania nurses and renewed her call to foster a healthcare system that ensures both safe workplaces for nursing professionals and quality, accessible care for patients.

“Registered nurses work around the clock to care for our friends, neighbors, and loved ones,” Senator Collett said. “As lawmakers, we must work together to advance policies that keep nurses safe on the job and ensure they have the resources they need to provide the best possible care. As a nurse, I won’t stop fighting to uplift these healthcare professionals and make our Commonwealth an attractive place for them to live, work, and raise a family.”

Collett – one of two registered nurses in the Senate and a recent recipient of the PA Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals’ Healthcare Champion Award – sat down with the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus’ Danielle Woods to discuss her nursing background and how it has informed her work as a lawmaker in a new video.

During the interview, Collett commented: “[Nurses] are the ones with eyes on the patients every day. So, let’s make sure that we show them we have our eyes on them. Let’s make sure we’re saying to them: we see you; we value you; we’re doing everything we can legislatively.”

Collett has introduced numerous pieces of legislation and spearheaded crucial initiatives in support of Pennsylvania nurses since taking office, including:

  • The Patient Safety Act, which would set safe, unit-specific nurse-to-patient ratios to address critical staff shortages.
  • The Nursing Workforce Initiative, which provided $55M in student loan relief for nurses, $1.2M in apprenticeship and industry partnerships, and $500K in residency & mentorship programs.
  • Healthcare & Nursing Scholarships, which would provide scholarship, administered by PHEAA, to students pursuing careers in nursing and healthcare at a community college in Pennsylvania.
  • SB 668, which would allow the Certified Nursing Assistants who work closely with long term care residents to receive the training they need to safely administer medications.

Asked about what it will take to get the Patient Safety Act passed in the Senate, Collett said, “Talking to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, who I know understand this crisis in nursing, and saying to them, hey, this is what it’s going to take. Are you ready to step up, protect our nurses, stop just putting a sign in the yard that says, ‘healthcare heroes work here,’ but put your money where your mouth is? Show them.”

Collett’s full Nurses Week interview can be found here, and her senate floor remarks in honor of Nurses Week, School Nurses Day, and Skilled Nursing Care Week can be found here.