The MNA – representing less than 25% of the nurses in the commonwealth – released a television ad last Wednesday and managed in its 30-second length to disseminate false information.
The ad’s main contention – that 86% of RNs in Massachusetts support Question 1 – cannot be true as the poll alleging the support was completed even before Question 1 was assigned. And the small sample size of the poll (302 nurses) plus the fact that nearly half of respondents were MNA union members makes the poll even more suspect. Add that the poll focused on support of “patient limits” and not on the specifics of voting yes or no on Question 1, and the 86% claim becomes even easier to dismiss. Despite repeated requests, the union has refused to release the full findings and methodology of the survey.
The MNA advertisement also cherry-picks a quote out of a New England Journal of Medicine article to give the impression that the cited study endorses ratios. It does no such thing. The 2002 Journal study was not solely focused on nurse staffing and does include the following statement: “[R]esearch on the relation between the level of staffing by nurses in hospitals and patients’ outcomes has been inconclusive.”
“There are no scientific studies or reports that demonstrate the effectiveness of government mandated, one-size-fits-all nurse staffing ratio for improving quality of care, patient outcomes or professional nursing practice.” said Donna Glynn, president of the American Nurses Association and a Nurse Scientist for the VA Boston Healthcare System. The ANA is just one of many nursing groups that oppose the MNA’s ratio ballot question.
The MNA’s “alternative facts” interpretation of solid scientific studies was roundly criticized by two Massachusetts nurses last week, who sent this letter
to MNA’s leadership. “You attempt to create the appearance of truth by citing your claims to various studies, but, when examined, it proves you often grossly misrepresent the data and findings. Indeed, in some cases, the studies you point to specifically warn against viewing nurse staffing ratios as a solution,” the nurses write in the letter.
To see the Coalition’s statement on the problematic ad, visit here
. For more information on the inaccuracy of the ad and other No on Question 1 campaign news, visit here