Fighting For Our Nurses - Forming A Union
The voice of many is greater than the voice of one. Forming a nursing union can have drastic impacts on the field that is so rampant with shortages, low salaries, and unsatisfied workers. Nurses must deal with the policies of hospitals, managed care, and government programs. A unified force such as a union has more strength to deal with these entities than a single nurse who is having difficulties with the system.
Giving a national voice, according to Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), will deal with the problem of nurses that are "leaving the bedside in droves" (San Antonio News). Together, so far, the total number of nurses in the SEIU is approximately 84,000. Other unions such as the RNs Working Together has 200,000 nurses and the California Nurses Association/National Organizing Committee has approximately 70,000 nurses in 40 states (San Antonio News). In order to halt nurses from leaving the bedside, increasing salaries has been a focus of these unions.
In short, the nursing system has many challenges. Dealing with these challenges, there is one more solution: Unions. Nurses must deal with many issues at once. For many, their time management is focused on patient care, not dealing with the issues of the "system." The unions are now another part of our fight to improve the shortage and the quality of life for our nurses.
Michael V. Gruber, MPH is a contributing author to My Nursing Degree Online, providing articles and resources for nurses looking for online nursing degrees.
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