Lawmaker who said nurses spend time 'playing cards' receives over 600 decks of cards

A UPS store in Washington state said it has received 667 packages of playing cards addressed to state Sen. Maureen Walsh (R) this week after she said nurses spend their time playing cards.

The Tumwater, Wash., UPS told KOMO News on Tuesday that the store had received hundreds of packages addressed to the Republican politician after an open letter circulated with Walsh’s mailing address.

“Nurses are going to change your life too. You’ll find out how right after the next election cycle,” the open letter read in part. “You’ll have plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with yourself then.”

Walsh faced an online firestorm after she made the comments during a debate last week on a bill that would require uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses. She argued in favor of an amendment that would exclude smaller, rural hospitals from the requirement, which was ultimately adopted.

“I understand … making sure the we have ‘rest breaks’ and things like that, but I also understand that we need to care for patients first and foremost,” Walsh said.

“I would submit to you that those (small hospital) nurses probably do get breaks,” she continued. “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

Hundreds of nurses took to social media to condemn the state senator’s remarks, and a Change.org petition calling for Walsh to shadow nurses for a 12-hour shift had more than 657,000 signatures as of Tuesday.

Walsh apologized for her comments and said she would be happy to shadow nurses at a hospital to see how “demanding” their jobs are.

"I love my nurses. I'm really sorry. I'm more sorry about the political gaming that caused this disruption,” Walsh added Monday, claiming the remarks were taken out of context by state Democrats. “I have great respect for nurses. My mother was a registered nurse for many years.”