National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine June 2012

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Letter from the Council of Presidents as registered nurses, we all know just how important and lifesaving RN-to-patient staffing ratios are. Currently, only one state in our great union, California, has mandated safe staffing ratios, though NNU nurses across the country are determined to win them state by state, or better, nationally. Since the law passed in 1999 and ratios were implemented in 2004, ratios have attracted RNs back to the bedside, motivated people to become RNs, and been shown in solid studies to save lives. So imagine our shock and disgust when, this June, the president of a local of the Service Employees International Union partnered up with the California Hospital Association, the hospital industry���s lobbying group that has time and time again tried to kill the ratios, to argue that ratios should be suspended during meals and breaks for two years. Their reasoning? That RNs should help the hospitals save money because of the state budget deficit. Say what? If you couldn���t make any sense out of that argument, don���t worry, because we couldn���t, either, and that���s because it was all just lies. Their attack on the ratios has failed, for now, though we guess we should thank them because they���ve put the entire organization on high alert to protect and defend this groundbreaking law. To get the full story and all the gory details, please read the article in the news section and also NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro���s column in this issue. NATIONAL NURSE,��� (ISSN 2153-0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, June 2012 Volume 108/4 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 Also on our minds this past month has been healthcare reform and the ongoing campaign to improve Medicare and extend it to everyone in this country, regardless of age. The U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was hailed by some as monumental, but we nurses know better. The law still leaves insurance companies in charge, even providing a captive customer base for them, and patients will still be denied access to healthcare as they have been. California RNs took a road trip this summer on a ���Medicare for all��� bus to educate the public about what still needs to be done to fix healthcare in this country and heard the most amazing, heartbreaking stories. Finally, there will be more of us than ever fighting the good fight on behalf of our patients and our profession: More than 850 RNs from the St. Louis, Mo. area voted to join NNU in June! Congratulations to these brave RNs for taking this step. We are proud to have you with us. 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 TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses YOUTUBE: FACEBOOK: FLICKR: 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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