National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine Jan-Feb 2011

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TOC_Layout 1 2/24/11 10:04 PM Page 2 Letter from the Council of Presidents it's sad, but true. We rarely see direct-care registered nurses on television, hear them on the radio, or quoted in news articles. Yet bedside nurses, as frontline care providers, are uniquely positioned to explain to the public everything from what will or won't work in national healthcare reform, to how to better manage their high blood pressure and diabetes. It's high time for nurses to take media matters into their own hands. One of the best ways to do this, we think, is by creating our own programs for distribution—through television, radio, and the Internet. We are now working with GRITtv with Laura Flanders on a segment we're calling The Nurses' Station that will launch this spring. The Nurses' Station will cover news headlines of the day, but from a direct-care nursing perspective. NNU also continues to sponsor Nurse Talk, a hilarious weekly radio interview and variety program hosted by real, live, bedside nurses. And since so many RNs now turn to the Internet for their news and information, we're continuing to get out the word about our nurses' movement by branching out through social media networks. Read all about our efforts in this issue's feature story. We also want to highlight some important contract fights and wins this winter. Wilkes-Barre General Hospital RNs in Pennsylvania staged a one-day strike in December, braving bitter cold and snow to show their recalcitrant NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN 2153-0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, January | February 2011 Volume 107/1 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 management that they were willing to walk the walk, straight to that picket line, over egregious takeaways. In Northern and Central California, more than 17,000 Kaiser Permanente RNs and NPs won a new three-year contract that stunningly, when compared to negotiations happening in other parts of the country, included not only zero concessions but also many patient care improvements and wage increases. It's probably the best contract in the nation and a document to point to when employers complain that they can't meet higher standards during these economic times. And across the nation, many of our NNU states are relaunching their 2011 campaigns for safe RN-to-patient staffing ratio legislation. Massachusetts, Florida, Missouri, and Texas are just some examples of states where RN staffing ratio bills are in play. The staffing ratios have made a tremendous difference in California (Check out our new video on our YouTube channel featuring nurses contrasting the times before and after ratios.) and are excited that this model can be adopted by other states. We have a lot of hills to climb in 2011, so let's all resolve this year to step up our good work and do just a little bit extra. We all know it could mean the difference between life and death. 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. 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 Rose Ann 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, Lauren Reid

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