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Nurses call for better working conditions during protest at Ohio Statehouse

Ohio nurses held a rally at the Statehouse Thursday to bring light to issues plaguing the profession, such as low staffing. The protest with over 300 nurses was a message to lawmakers and healthcare administrators about finding solutions to workplace violence and retaining qualified nurses.

Nurse March Ohio, which organized the rally, blames healthcare systems for putting profits above professionals which contributes to jeopardized patient care and unsustainable work conditions.

"I have been punched. I have walked in on colleagues huddled in the corner being kicked by patients to the point of being unconscious. We receive threats from family members demanding this or that. This is not what we signed up for. Nurses have had enough. And the time is now for real, meaningful change," said Ohio nurse January Belcher. "We did not become nurses to be forced to work overtime day in and day out. We did not become nurses to walk into every shift wondering how we're going to care for too many patients again that day."

The group said in January 2021 alone, nurses with the Ohio State University Nurses Organization filed 3,000 cases of complaints related to unsafe situations.

They're asking lawmakers to enact "common sense" legislation that guarantees the safety of nurses and patients.

Corrected: May 16, 2022 at 9:24 AM EDT
A previous version of this story identified the Ohio Nurses Association as the organizer of the protest. It was actually organized by Nurse March Ohio.
Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.