National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine April-May-June 2019

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NATIONAL NURSE,™ (USPS publication permit number 0807-560/ISSN 2153- 0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, April- May-June 2019 (Volume 115/2) is pub- lished by National Nurses United, 155 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. It provides news of or ganizational activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries general coverage and commen - tary on matters of nursing practice, com- munity and public health, and healthcare policy. It is published quarterly, with com- bined issues in January-February-March (winter), April-May-June (spring), July- August-September (summer), and October-November-December (fall). Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, Cal- ifornia. POSTMASTER: send address changes to National Nurse, ™ 155 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announce- ment, fax (510) 663-0629. National Nurse™ is carried on the NNU website at For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. Please contact us with your story ideas They can be about practice or manage- ment trends you've observed, or simply something new you've encountered in the profession. They can be about one nurse, unit, or hospital, or about the wider landscape of healthcare policy from an RN's perspective. They can be humorous, or a matter of life and death. If you're a writer and would like to contribute an article, please let us know. You can reach us at EXECUTIVE EDITOR Bonnie Castillo, RN EDITOR Lucia Hwang GRAPHIC DESIGN Jonathan Wieder COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Sarah Cecile CONTRIBUTORS Barb Brady, Gerard Brogan, RN PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Sarah Maple, Choppy Oshiro imagine struggling paycheck to paycheck as a low-income, working, single mom, and then one day going to the bank and seeing your account balance zeroed out. That's what happened to LaKesha Spence, a Baltimore resident, this spring. Unbeknownst to Spence, Johns Hopkins Hos- pital had sued her for medical bills it claimed she owed. The hospital had gotten a court judgment to seize the last $152 she had in the bank, leaving her with no money to make rent, buy medications for her mother, or provide Pull-Ups for her toddler son. If you are surprised by this behavior coming from a sup- posed world-class, extremely prestigious nonprofit medical institution, the nurses of Johns Hopkins and the thousands of other low-income Baltimore patients it has sued over the past decade are not. They are well familiar with Johns Hop- kins' bad behavior, whether it's garnishing the wages of low- income patients who should have qualified for charity care, bulldozing community members' and local residents' con- cerns over hospital facility expansion plans, or union bust- ing and intimidating the registered nurses trying to organize a union at Hopkins. You can read all about their fight to stand up to Hopkins in "Battling the Bully of Balti- more," the feature story in this quarter's issue. On many other fronts, National Nurses United was very, very busy this spring. We have introduced and are pushing numerous pieces of federal legislation, including safe staffing ratios, workplace violence prevention, and Medicare for All. Thanks to our tremendous organizing, we have made major progress on a number of bills—including passing our workplace violence prevention bill out of com- mittee and pushing to get three hearings so far on our Medicare for All proposal! Meanwhile, the nurses of National Nurses United con- tinue to do the tough, day-in, day-out work that we must do to build our power; not only care and advocate for our patients as part of our regular jobs, but agitate, educate, and organize by picketing, standing up to management, going on strike, convening town halls when hospitals close units, and the list goes on. It's hard work, but we all know we went into nursing to help people and make a difference. This is the type of work we need to do at the bedside and beyond to transform society into one that prioritizes people over prof- its. Let's get to it. Deborah Burger, RN | Jean Ross, RN | Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN National Nurses United Presidents Letter from the NNU presidents Stay connected FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: VIMEO: DIGITAL MAGAZINE:

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