National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine November 2010

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TOC 2_Layout 1 12/10/10 10:55 AM Page 2 Letter from the Council of Presidents someone pinch us already! We've never seen anything like it: Thousands of Florida registered nurses working at HCA hospitals unionized in the span of just a couple of months. It's a testament to the strength of our organization, National Nurses United, the power of the RN movement to improve patient care that we are building, and the courage of RNs in the Sunshine State. In November and December, NNU's affiliate, National Nurses Organizing Committee-Florida, conducted elections at six Hospital Corporation of America facilities and nurses overwhelmingly voted in favor of the union at each one. As of press time, we have an upcoming election at one more hospital. A big congratulations and welcome to these Florida nurses. We look forward to working with them to win ratios for Florida and helping them negotiate solid contracts. Read all about it in the news section. Unfortunately, there's some bad news as well. This issue of the magazine also discusses two different threats to RNs: The first is workplace violence, and the second is a push by players in Washington, D.C. to gut Social Security and Medicare in the name of "deficit reduction." It seems that violence at our workplaces has dramatically worsened over the last five years, in all likelihood a reflection of patients' stress levels and dire straits during this awful recession. A number of our members have been assaulted at work, and it is with heavy heart that we learned NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN 2153-0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, November 2010 Volume 106/9 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 one California RN member, Cynthia Barraca Palomata, died in October after she was attacked on the job. National Nurses United members around the country are pursuing various strategies to prevent such violence, from legislation to contract negotiations to education. Take a moment to read this important story. On the subject of decimating Social Security and Medicare, all three of us have stories to tell about these critical social safety net programs. Our parents rely on it, we plan to rely on it when we retire, and our kids and grandkids should be able to rely on it when they reach the end of their working lives. Yet the very same Washington insiders who support tax breaks for corporations and billionaires who make more money per day than most Americans will ever see in their lifetimes want to slash away at Social Security's fairly modest benefits. The article in this issue will explain how Social Security doesn't really have anything to do with the national deficit and how the current push to restructure the programs is actually the first step toward eliminating social safety net programs entirely. Check out the news section for much more on NNU's activities around the country. Maine nurses held a successful, first-ever strike. Massachusetts RNs negotiated a landmark contract with an unprecedented pension fund. It is grim out there, but it would be even worse if we NNU nurses were not on the front lines, fighting for ourselves and our patients. 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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