National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine October 2012

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Letter from the Council of Presidents do you know much about the other f-word? We���re talking about fracking. Those of you living in certain states or rural areas where energy companies are furiously drilling natural gas wells probably do, while chances are those of you living in big cities or states without a lot of wells don���t. Well, we���re here to tell you that everyone should care about fracking, especially registered nurses who care about safeguarding the health of our patients and our communities. Fracking is the controversial practice of pumping millions of gallons of water, sand, and toxic chemicals into gas wells at high pressure to break open the rock in hopes of harvesting more natural gas. As you���ll learn in this issue���s feature story, the chemicals used in fracking have disastrous public health consequences for the water, soil, and air. They can cause a myriad of health problems for neighbors, workers, and medical professionals such as RNs. Yet very little is known about the chemicals because of exemptions in federal law from such oversight, and the gas drillers��� insistence on operating in secrecy. They���ve gone so far as to pass legislation that gags healthcare providers like you and me from divulging information about chemicals we may learn about during the course of treating a patient���even though people could still be at risk. It���s outrageous, and we hope that you���ll be active in your community in calling for a moratorium on fracking until it NATIONAL NURSE,��� (ISSN 2153-0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, October 2012 Volume 108/7 is published by National Nurses United, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. It provides news of organizational activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries general coverage and commentary on matters of nursing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is published monthly except for can be proven to be safe���as our colleagues with the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals have done. Be aware. Don���t think it can���t happen in your community! The gas industry already has wells in 30 states and is fracking from California to Texas to Pennsylvania. In other news, we congratulate and welcome our newest NNU members, the 500 RNs of Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso who just voted to join NNOC-Texas! Kudos to Massachusetts RNs for staging a powerful show of solidarity during a recent one-day strike at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. And many of us turned out on Oct. 2 at lively actions to confront legislators about whether they would support our Robin Hood Tax, HR 6411, to help heal Main Street, or whether they only care about the corporate interests of Wall Street. It becomes clearer to us day by day, month by month, year by year, that only through a united movement of registered nurses can we accomplish what we need to bring America back to health. Deborah Burger, RN | Karen Higgins, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Council of Presidents combined issues in January and February, and July and August. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to National Nurse, 2000 ��� Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement, 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. Stay connected @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: YOUTUBE: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: Please contact us with your story ideas They can be about practice or management 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 RoseAnn DeMoro EDITOR Lucia Hwang GRAPHIC DESIGN Jonathan Wieder COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Charles Idelson CONTRIBUTORS Gerard Brogan, RN, Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD, Jan Rabbers, Donna Smith, David Schildmeier, Ann Kettering Sincox PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Erin FitzGerald

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