National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine April 2010

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Letter from the Council of Presidents as this issue of National Nurse went to press, nurses from around the country were preparing for National Nurses United's annual staff nurse conference in Washington, DC. The theme? 'RN Heroes'—a tribute to the bravery and compassion of registered nurses who are making a difference in their workplaces, their communities and the world. And wow, are they an inspiring bunch…starting with the courageous nurses involved in contract negotiations all over the country who are refusing to give in to management demands to make patients pay for the country's economic crisis. Our cover story this month highlights our Minnesota colleagues who are standing strong in the face of one of the toughest battles the state has seen, between RNs who have fought hard over the years to win protections for themselves and their patients, and the hospitals who want to take those gains away. In Pennsylvania this month, RNs at Temple University Hospital displayed incredible heroism on the picket line, standing strong during a 28-day strike in which hospital management tried to force them to give up their right to publicly advocate for patients. Faced with unity among nurses and other professional employees at the hospital, as well as support that poured in from labor unions across the country, the hospital caved and RNs were able to settle on a fair contract. "Our union is stronger than ever," Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals President Patricia Eakin, RN, wrote us after nurses ratified the contract. "I watched all kinds of nurses and allied professionals NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN pending) The Voice of National Nurses United, April 2010 Volume 106/3 is published by National Nurses United, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 946122908. 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 combined issues take leadership roles…Temple's arrogance helped us create a stronger membership." You can read all about the Pennsylvania victory in the news section. In our features section, you'll find stories about two RN heroes who are committed to standing up for nurses' and patients' rights, under very different circumstances. Orsburn Stone, RN, drew on his experience facing persecution as a teenager in segregated South Carolina to help lead and win an organizing campaign at MountainView hospital in Nevada. Clelie St. Vil, RN, also went back to her roots this year, when she traveled to Haiti with NNU's Registered Nurse Response Network …the first time she'd seen her homeland since immigrating to the United States at age 11. Being an RN hero sometimes means taking patient advocacy outside the hospital walls and into the political arena. This month, we offer a couple of takes on this year's governor's race in California—a matchup that will affect RNs and patients across the country, not just in the Golden State. As you'll see inside, RNs are having some fun educating the public about the infusion of corporate money into the campaign. We're confident that our members will continue to speak out around this important issue, so that we can protect the gains in patient care we've made in California and take one step closer to our goal of a single standard of quality healthcare for all. RN heroes, we salute you! It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. Deborah Burger, RN | Karen Higgins, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Council of Presidents 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 ACTING EDITOR Felicia Mello 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, Lauren Reid

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