National Nurses United

National Nurse Magazine March 2010

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Nader_1 4/1/10 2:58 PM Page 27 A Nevada nurse explains how organizing with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee has changed her life What the Union Has Done for Me BY JACQUELYN BAUGHER EDITOR'S NOTE: Jacquelyn Baugher is a nurse at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada, where nurses recently joined the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee and negotiated their first contract. She sent this letter to CNA/NNOC/NNU labor representative Kevin Baker late last year. National Nurse has reprinted it with her permission. Dear Kevin, erecently, first in the bas Saint Mary's. I met you Wednesday r. I'm a nurse on 4N at ghe nurses last My name is Jacque Bau g for 4N and med-surg then again at the meetin ints or reports tacted regarding compla ment at our last vote and you're mostly con ing share with you someth on Street office. I figure at the Washingt it would be nice to ry people and thought from ang about negative actions and my family. people. rself have done for me ducated, hardworking ve that the union and you positi two very poor and une er this she dropped rd of four daughters to rtly aft I was born the thi h my oldest sister. Sho she became pregnant wit year. At the age of 14 My mother was 15 when eks into his ninth-grade left school a few we father h a foster family who out of the 10th grade. My ns before settling in wit Oregon tried out a few situatio and When I graduated from I left my parents' house refore invest in myself. immediate family sue an education and the son in my encouraged me to pur rsing, I was the first per rsity with a degree in Nu Health & Science Unive e. Degre to obtain a Bachelor's rned was much harder to have ever attempted an a life that I quickly lea te, n far from home and beg ficult. As a new gradua I got a good job in a tow nt Mary's were very dif r faced. Conditions at Sai the wolves with own to than anything I had eve torship before I was thr -month period of precep cate them about their I was given a short two or their health status, edu ed on me to monit n who reli was sorely unprepared eight patients of my ow cess, a responsibility I for. through their healing pro m at I had worked so hard conditions, and guide the could not possibly be wh ng at the time that this lights. In school I was g call for. I remember thinki sing meds and answerin , from room to room pas was to promote health Some nights I simply ran t above all else my job an educator and tha I would be taught that as a nurse delusions of grandeur. after a ideals seemed more like dle this it was me, but h eight patients those but wit work. If anyone could han safety were at risk, to shy away from hard health and Now, I'm not one as though my patients' r s and constantly feeling contribute to the greate year of putting out fire it was that I could truly to see options as to where sider my on 4N. I began I began to seriously con der and more constant them out. of the union became lou workers—began filling . Shortly after this, talk good —myself and my coount, something I had Objection forms, and we 3-B acc Assignment Despite to begin saving in a 40 se, which prompted me I now am responsible Next we got a pay increa ient ratios decreased, and . Our nurse-to-pat do before g of all. never had the option to this is the biggest blessin at a time per shift, and ld not be and maximum, six patients you told us that we cou for, at t Wednesday when out our paperwork ered at our meeting las to fill I became empow nagement for staying late ves to be harassed by ma tried to stand alone. So should not allow oursel ch stronger than if we e together we were mu banded nt Mary's on 4N becaus and chart and that if we I'm going to stay at Sai g as it has been, is that because that's blin and sutures, my point, long and ram elbows deep in staples with surgical patients, create working that's where I want to be: ause you have helped to r good. And bec e I contribute to the greate that I have ever been abl where I believe l be the first year w and flourish, this wil family, and I can gro men in my conditions under which are five proud, strong wo d with termits for my family. There se two, one has a husban ord to buy Christmas gif to aff yed, and of the in my family giving of us are currently emplo y person as I write this only two burden. I will be the onl s has quite the financial do for me. nal brain cancer and thu at the union has helped en. And that is wh year, but gifts will be giv gifts this Thank you. Jacquelyn Baugher MARCH 2010 W W W. N A T I O N A L N U R S E S U N I T E D . O R G N AT I O N A L N U R S E 27

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