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Life-and-death stakes

July 16, 2009

Re "Problem nurses remain on job as patients suffer," July 12

Having just returned home from an emergency hospitalization, I was horrified to read about the dismal record of the California Board of Registered Nurses.

I feel fortunate to be recovering, and I realize that I arrived at the hospital with significant advantages: my general good health, a readily treatable illness, a solid insurance plan and an attentive, intelligent spouse who helped in my caregiver interactions. Many patients are much more vulnerable.

We need agencies such as the board to provide safeguards: that our nurses are well trained, professional and suitably monitored. The stakes, literally, are life and death. Heartfelt thanks to The Times for excellent continuing coverage of California health issues.

Lani Schneider

Glendale

I had the pleasure of working with Spencer Sullivan for several years in a local ER.

He is the best RN I have ever known. His clinical knowledge surpassed his credentials. His meticulous care of his patients was legendary to all those who worked around him. He was my inspiration and resource.

It is a sad, sad irony that the best nurse I know suffers every day of his life from the actions of another nurse.

Leah McLemore

San Clemente

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Having bravely taken on LAUSD teachers -- the relatively few allegedly abusive ones, that is -- and now nurses, let's see you go after some real corruption and bad performance.

I look forward to the headline: "Greedy, crooked financial industry fat cats remain on job as economy continues to suffer."

Or is it just female-dominated and heavily unionized professions that merit investigative reporting in your paper?

Roberta Medford

Montrose

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I am a registered nurse who has practiced in California for 30 years.

I am embarrassed to know that the previous board's slow investigation and discipline of drugged and dangerous nurses has tainted the license that I hold so dear.

I am appalled that the nurses you cited may still practice in California or elsewhere. It is true that you don't get "a choice of nurse." Our patients are at our mercy.

Lisa Riggs

Los Angeles

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Another example of boards that basically get paid for ignoring the problems they should be overseeing.

It's time to make people -- no, one person -- responsible for the task. Make sure he has the authority to hire and fire subordinates.

Albert V. Weaver

Newbury Park

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Re "Governor sweeps out nurse board," July 14

Kudos to the governor for throwing out an ineffective nurses' board and especially to The Times for exposing this issue.

The governor would not have acted without this expose. This is the very reason we need newspapers.

Barbara Stern

Palm Desert

Your articles highlight serious instances of misconduct and alleged abuses by some nurses in our state.

These cases do not reflect the values we embrace as professional nurse practitioners: high standards, professionalism and best-quality care for our patients.

We appreciate that the new registered nursing board has the political backing and will to effect positive change in the process for addressing complaints.

Karen Ketner

San Jose

The writer is the president of the California Assn. for Nurse Practitioners.

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My question is: Why is it always newspaper investigations that uncover things such as this -- and not the government or government oversight boards?

Don't they ever do their jobs?

Woody McBreairty

West Hollywood

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