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Nurses Unite.

Roll Call

As the health care debate intensifies on Capitol Hill, a new union of registered nurses is launching today. The 150,000-member National Nurses United, which will affiliate with the AFL-CIO, plans to have a big presence on Capitol Hill.

“Nurses are patient advocates, and we plan a high-profile Capitol advocacy agenda,” said registered nurse Deborah Burger of the union. “Our hope is to wed the public’s strong support of RNs with our unions’ history of creative and effective campaigns.”

The union will focus on patient safety, health care and labor issues before Congress. The nurses union is especially keen on a Senate bill that would establish minimum RN-to-patient ratios.

The group is convening today in Phoenix and will hear from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.