National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine April-May-June 2021

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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 2021 (Volume 117/2) 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 cover- age and commen tary on matters of nursing practice, community and public health, and health care policy. It is pub- lished 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, California. 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, Charles Idelson, Kari Jones, Ty Richardson, Amber Smigiel, Chuleenan Svetvilas PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Choppy Oshiro the second week of every May is set aside for Nurses Week, a time to pay tribute to and honor the work of us reg- istered nurses. But after all we have seen and experienced over this past year, we are not so sure at times whether we believe in celebrating this occasion. When our employers and the government fail to protect registered nurses as we meet our professional duties to care for patients during the deadliest global pandemic of our lifetimes, the whole thing can feel fake and artificial—even insulting. Nurses at one Kaiser Permanente facility in California were actually given rocks by management for Nurses Week. There is so much we could say about that, but others have already done so on Facebook! The one bright spot about Nurses Week is our solidarity as union nurses. That's what keeps us going. Our union is all about protecting, defending, and advancing our profes- sion and our mission as nurses, to care for and holistically heal people. We are so proud of our fights and struggles over this past year. We did not win all of them, but we did win some of them, and we shudder to think of how much worse the situation would be if the RN members of National Nurses United were not here to push back, speak up, and fight back against the powers that prioritize profits over patients. So NNU's Nurses Week was all about flexing our power to improve conditions for ourselves and our patients, on Capitol Hill as well as in our state capitals; about honoring the more than 400 nurses who have died of Covid; and about exposing how care work is devalued in our society, how so many of us are suffering from moral injury because we are not allowed to do our work as nurses in this money- driven health care economy, and how the solution lies in our collective power. Organizing ourselves is even more important than ever because Covid-19 has pushed the practice of nursing to a critical crossroads. As you can read about in this issue of the magazine, this pandemic provided the perfect cover for the health care industry to make permanent the suboptimal crisis standards of care that we were forced to contend with during the very worst of this disease. Nursing as we know it may cease to exist if they have their way. It is up to us to determine the future of our profession. We look forward to continuing to fight alongside you. 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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