National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine April-May-June 2020

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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 2020 (Volume 116/2) is published 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, community and public health, and health- care policy. It is published quarterly, with combined 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 Rachel Berger, Erin FitzGerald, Kari Jones, Amber Smigiel, Chuleenan Svetvilas PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Sarah Maple, Choppy Oshiro lately, we've wondered what we'll tell future genera- tions when they ask about COVID-19. One thing is cer- tain: National Nurses United members can be proud of everything we're doing to protect our communities. Hospital administrators and governments who deny pro- tections cannot say the same. We are equally proud of nurses' support for Black Lives Matter, as NNU RNs join protesters to challenge systemic racism in all its forms. Nurses are well-acquainted with racism in health care, from hospital lawsuits against low- income patients of color, to hospital closures in black and brown neighborhoods. In these difficult times, NNU has drawn on its collective power to fight for public health in a money-driven system. We've relentlessly demanded lifesaving PPE. We've held more than 400 socially distanced protests, and tens of thousands of us have signed petitions to Congress and the president. Nurses' stories have appeared in every medium. Where others failed to lead, nurses have stepped into the void to demand public safety. Because of this, nurses have chalked up impressive gains. We fought employers and won the right to wear N95 respi- rators from home. We won measures to avoid exposing our families. In some systems we secured automatic eligibility for workers' compensation if we contract COVID-19. The House passed a bill demanding that the Defense Production Act be used to domestically manufacture PPE, and estab- lishing an OSHA emergency standard for infectious diseases. But despite the wins, our recent survey of 23,000 RNs shows that 87 percent of respondents are still forced to reuse single-use N95 respirators. And more than 138 RNs have died from COVID-19. We recognize that we've been abandoned, that our eco- nomic system considers many of us expendable. If there was any doubt before, both COVID-19 and ongoing police violence prove that not just our health care system, but our entire system, is broken. But we are in awe of the NNU members who stand in solidarity and always rise to the occasion, for health care justice, and for racial justice. We'll never stop until every last nurse is safe. And we won't stop saying Black Lives Matter. We'll mourn our dead, our sisters and brothers who've died needlessly from both the virus and systemic racism. Then, we'll do what we do best: fight like hell to protect the living. 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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