Washington state senator receives 1,700 decks of cards after nurse comments

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Several mail bins filled with packs of playing cards were stacked in the office of the Washington state senator who made comments about nurses playing cards on the job.

According to a news release, about 1,700 decks of cards from nurses across the country were delivered to Sen. Maureen Walsh's office.


Last week, Walsh, a Republican representing College Place, Washington, made the comments while debating a Senate bill that would require uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses.

On Wednesday, House Bill 1155 passed the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Walsh apologized for her comments.

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“I wish I could take my words back, but the issue remains important,” she said. “Our critical access hospitals serve an important role in smaller communities across the state. Many already are operating in the red, and this could put them under.”

Walsh’s office has received 10,000 emails and more than 35,000 phone calls since last Friday.

More than 650,000 people signed online petitions demanding Walsh shadow a nurse for a 12-hour shift.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.