National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine September 2012

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Letter from the Council of Presidents labor day has come and gone and we are in full political campaign season. We know your eyes want to glaze over as soon as you see another television ad telling you to vote for this or that person, or yes on this and no on that. Trust us, ours do too. But, as registered nurses, we owe it to ourselves and our patients not to check out of the political process. It is more important than ever that RNs educate themselves about the candidates, issues, and what���s at stake. For example, Michigan RNs have been working nonstop to help pass Proposal 2, an initiative that would protect collective bargaining rights in the state Constitution and put an end in their state to the endless antiworker legislative attacks by right-wing, corporate groups. Our executive director, RoseAnn DeMoro, discusses these coordinated ���right to work��� attacks in her column in this issue. In Minnesota, nurses are backing candidates who will support safe staffing ratio legislation and guard the RN���s scope of practice against efforts by hospitals to dilute it. In California, RNs are spreading the word against Proposition 32, yet another attempt to hamstring unions��� ability to engage in the political process. Check out this issue���s news section for more, and for a list of our federal endorsements for Congressional races. We also want to celebrate a number of great victories this past month. First, kudos to Massachusetts RNs for helping to pass a ban against mandatory overtime. Second, about 600 NATIONAL NURSE,��� (ISSN 2153-0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, September 2012 Volume 108/6 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 nurses in West Virginia and Ohio with three Community Health Services hospitals voted to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee/NNU. And third, nurses at four HCAaffiliated hospitals in Texas just won their first contracts! The naysayers said it couldn���t be done, but they were wrong. Finally, something we RNs may not think about much every day (except for maybe the public health nurses and ER nurses), but our feature story this issue explores the magnitude of the dental health crisis in this country. By all accounts, it is even harder for patients to access dental care than medical care in this country. It���s mindboggling how many people are in severe pain because of their teeth and how dental disease hurts all other areas of their lives, from their overall health to their job prospects. We need Medicare for all pronto, and we need that Medicare to cover dentistry. Remember, an RN���s patient advocacy never stops at the bedside. Get out there and vote, and we challenge you to step it up a notch by phone banking, door knocking, and talking to your church, your PTA, or your neighborhood group about where nurses stand on the issues and candidates on your ballots this November. 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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