- Walsh made the comments during a debate in which she argued against a bill that would prevent forced overtime and mandatory lunches for nurses.
- Walsh's comments did not go over well in the nursing community.
- She has since apologized.
- A petition has circulated for Walsh to "experience what really happens" during a 12-hour shift. It has over 660,000 signatures.
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A state senator is facing backlash for comments she made last week.
During the debated, Sen. Maureen Walsh, a Republican from Washington, said that nurses working at hospitals in rural regions "probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day."
Walsh made the comments during a debate in which she argued against a bill that would prevent forced overtime and mandatory, uninterrupted breaks for nurses to do things like eat meals.
According to the Washington Post , Walsh said that she made those comments because she worried the stipulations outlined in the bill would place strain on hospitals.
But Walsh's comments didn't go over well. Online, the nursing community sounded off against the state senator.
Amid the backlash, a petition has emerged asking Walsh to shadow a nurse on a 12-hour shift.
"Senator Maureen Walsh stated that we as nurses mostly spend our 12-hour shifts playing cards," wrote Juliana Bindas the petition organizer. "I would like to take a stand and petition to have the Senator experience what really happens during an RN's 12-hour shift. She most likely won't be playing Uno."
At the time of this post, the petition has over 660,000 signatures. Its goal is 1,000,000 affirmative signatures.
"We put our heart and soul into our careers, and (Walsh's) comments are incredibly far-fetched as to what actually happens," Bindas told CNN .
Following the outrage, Walsh has issued a statement, apologizing for her remarks.
"I want to offer my heartfelt apologies to those I offended with my comments on the Senate floor last Tuesday," she said. "I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context but still they crossed the line."
And as for that petition, Walsh says she's seen it and she's ready to be proven wrong.
"I understand from news accounts that a petition is being circulated urging me to spend a day shadowing a nurse at a local hospital for 12 hours, and walk a mile in her shoes," she said. "I look forward to receiving it and am happy to accept."
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