Nurse's Station

Nurses union a powerful political force


One year ago, the California Nurses Association, Massachusetts Nurses Association and United American Nurses merged to form National Nurses United, a national nurses union. Today, the organization is recognized as a politically powerful force.
In less than a year, the union has led the charge for safe staffing ratios. It has led or threatened strikes in California, Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington D.C, including the largest ever nursing strike, a one-day walkout by 12,000 nurses in Minnesota. The organization also orchestrated and supported demonstrations during the California gubernatorial race. In the process, the group has attracted a lot of attention.

While some nurses remain wary of the union’s aggressive tactics, Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, is unapologetic. “If you are meek, these hospitals will roll right over you,” DeMoro recently told the Washington Post.

DeMoro and other union members hope to increase nurses’ clout and influence for the benefit of nurses and patients. The National Nurse United website trumpets its intent to build “the RN Super Union” to advocate for nurses’ rights and safe, quality care.

What do you think of National Nurses United? Do you think their tactics have been helpful or harmful to the profession of nursing?

Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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