News & Events

Michigan nurses celebrate creation of a national nurses union this week

By Liz Shaw
Flint Journal

OKEMOS, Michigan—A press release this morning from the Michigan Nurses Association has announced the founding of the National Nurses United (NNU), a new national nursing union with over 150,000 registered nurses as members.

The new organization will be the largest nurses’ union in the country and be a powerful voice for addressing nursing issues, according to the press release. The NNU was created by a unanimous vote on Monday, December 7 at the founding convention in Phoenix, AZ.

Here’s the rest of the MNA announcement:

“This has been an incredible day for all of us at the Convention,” said John Karebian, MNA Executive Director, who was present at the voting. We are witness to the birth of a strong vibrant organization that will address the injustice in the health care system and restore a balance of power in our hospitals.”

The NNU joins three strong nurses’ unions that were already in existence: the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and the United American Nurses (UAN). The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA), through its affiliation with UAN, will become part of the NNU.

“What a day Monday was! Nurses across the country joined together at the founding convention of the National Nurses United to be a powerful force in the movement for health care reform,” said Diane Goddeeris, RN, NNU Vice President and MNA Board member. “Taking to the streets on Tuesday, nurses used their voice to assist the nurses in Arizona as they fight for the right to join a union and work on safe patient care and safe working conditions. To be part of the NNU – 150,000 nurses strong – is only the beginning. We are one and will fight with solidarity so that the front line voice of nurses is heard across the country and every individual in this country will benefit from their advocacy. I’ve always been proud to be a nurse and today was a great day when we spoke together with one voice.”

In adopting a constitution and electing national officers, the NNU plans to quickly move forward on an active campaign to:

  • Advance the interests of direct care nurses and patients across the U.S.
  • Organize all direct care RNs "into a single organization capable of exercising influence over the healthcare industry, governments, and employers."
  • Promote effective collective bargaining representation to all NNU affiliates to promote the economic and professional interests of all direct care RNs.
  • Expand the voice of direct care RNs and patients in public policy, including the enactment of safe nurse-to-patient ratios and patient advocacy rights in Congress and every state.
  • Win "healthcare justice, accessible, quality healthcare for all, as a human right."

“We have before us an incredible opportunity to grab a hold of the future with NNU,” stated Jeff Breslin, RN, MNA President, “The strength of 150,000 nurses working together has never been seen before. The benefits of belonging to NNU for MNA are outstanding.”