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Nurses call for better staffing practices

Registered Nurses’ Union (RNU) president Debbie Forward speaks at a rally in downtown St. John’s Wednesday.
Registered Nurses’ Union (RNU) president Debbie Forward speaks at a rally in downtown St. John’s Wednesday. - Glen Whiffen

Hundreds of nurses and nursing students sporting red toques and placards lined the downtown street near the Sheraton Hotel for a rally aimed at raising awareness of staffing practices the RNU says are dangerous and put RNs and patients at risk.

The rally was held near a monument erected in memory of nurse Ethel Dickinson, a volunteer nurse who tended to wounded Newfoundland soldiers during the First World War.

Registered Nurses’ Union (RNU) president Debbie Forward laid a wreath at the monument in honour of Dickinson, who died in 1918 while treating patients suffering from the Spanish flu.

Written on the red toques were the words, “More full-time RNs can save a lot.” Some of the placards read, “Patient safety comes first,” and “Make health care a priority.”

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