2009 News

A National Voice Can Mobilize Nursing's Voice and Power to Change Health Care

07.20.2009

For too long, nursing’s voice has been fragmented and diluted among a variety of organizations, too many of which had philosophies or took positions that conflicted with or even harmed the interests of direct care nurses.

By unifying and empowering the largest and most respected group of health professionals, we can demand our seat at the table and eventually dictate the terms of the debate. Without a national voice, we will remain in our individual states, perhaps doing good work locally, but forever at a disadvantage in the face of the health care industry’s power and influence nationally.

Because National Issues Affect Our Practice, the MNA Should Not Go it Alone

The MNA has done great work advocating for its members in Massachusetts, but we can no longer remain isolated. Given that health care is rapidly consolidating and is influenced by national and state policies that can cross state borders, MNA members’ interests are no longer best served by remaining a solely independent voice. Decisions made across state borders, particularly in non-union states like New Hampshire and Connecticut, affect our practice and our ability to change policies in Massachusetts. When non-union nurses are forced to accept policies like floating without orientation, cancellation of shifts, allowing unlicensed personnel to administer medications in hospitals, or placement of patients in hallways of inpatient units, those policies become accepted standards that our employers attempt to adopt.

We need to organize more nurses nationally to deprive the industry of its ability to implement policies and dangerous workplace procedures in states with weaker nursing voices.

Using the combined resources of the new national union, we will be able to capitalize on this unique moment in history to foster the organizing of thousands of nurses across this country, which will in turn further improve our ability to meet all the objectives of the new national nurses movement (see objectives page).

 

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