By Imani Randolph
ABC (Channel 15)
PHOENIX–About 200 RNs representing every state in the union are marching on the Offices of the Arizona Hospital Association, fresh from the founding convention of the new AFL-CIO-affiliated union.
One day after the founding of National Nurses United, the first-ever national union of registered nurses, those RNs took their patient safety agenda to the hospital industry, with a Tuesday march targeting the Arizona Hospital Association and American Hospital Association
The NNU said the associations block life-saving patient safety reforms and prevent nurses from exercising their free choice to organize.
National Nurses United brings together the leading voices of direct-care RNs from coast to coast now represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
The union unifies nurses from around the country with the common goal of:
- Expanding RN union representation for tens of thousands of non-union nurses.
- Passing national legislation, including S 1031 that would establish minimum RN-to-patient staffing ratios, protecting the role of RN as patient advocate, and creating a federal program to promote nursing education and retention.
- Coordinating national efforts to defend and improve RN standards and patient care conditions for nurses and patients in hospitals across the country.
- Building alliances with sister nurse organizations around the world. The Phoenix convention culminates months of preparation dating back to last February when the three organizations announced plans to pursue unification.
In May, CNA/NNOC, UAN, and MNA cosponsored, with several other nurses’ organizations, the first National RN Day of Action in Washington, D.C. that featured a march and rally in the shadow of the Capitol for ratios and guaranteed healthcare and a presentation by S 1031 author Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Support for the unification followed this fall with resolutions adopted separately in convention by each of the three organizations.
At the Phoenix convention, delegates elected a three-member NNU Council of Presidents, and discuss a vision of building RN power for the future of nursing and patient care.