National Nurses United

Registered Nurse June 2009

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LET TER FROM THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS as an rn, when you start reaching a certain age which we shall not name here, your mind invariably wanders to pondering life after work. Your back hurts. Your feet hurt. You've worked so hard taking care of others all your life that you start thinking that maybe it's time to take a well-deserved break from the stress and breakneck pace of registered nursing. So what's stopping you? Well, money. That's the challenge most of us face when we consider retiring. If we no longer have a regular paycheck, can we still afford to pay the bills? Stay in our homes? Visit the grandkids? Thanks to the hard work of CNA/NNOC RN leaders over the last 10 years, the vast majority of our members can retire with some sense of security. These RNs had the foresight to fight and bargain with their employers for pensions, which provide them a guaranteed income after they stop working. Unlike a 401(k), 403(b), or IRA account, income from a pension does not fluctuate based on the vagaries of the stock market. Unfortunately, far too many registered nurses across the country still do not enjoy pensions and either have inadequate 401(k) plans or nothing at all. It's a disgrace that RNs, who perform a public service much like firefighters, police officers, or teachers do, typically have no retirement security while those other professions do. Check out our feature in this issue on three RNs' retirement situations and why all RNs need and deserve real pensions. Also in this issue is a profile of a professional practice committee that really works, one headed up by none other than a member of the Council of Presidents, RN Zenei REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, June 2009 Volume 105/5 is published by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, 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 combined issues in January and February, and July and August. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Registered Nurse, 2000 ™ Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement, fax (510) 6630629. Registered Nurse™ is carried on the CNA/NNOC website at Cortez. PPCs serve as one of the most influential and powerful bodies of RN members at each facility, but far too often, they do not live up to their full potential to improve working and practice conditions and to represent the voice of nurses. Zenei tells the story of how she and others built the Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco PPC from the ground up, and offers helpful tips to get your PPC in tip top shape. Lastly, don't forget to check out our news section for the latest happenings. Copresident Geri Jenkins, RN, had the opportunity in June to testify before a Congressional subcommittee about the merits of adopting single-payer financing for the nation's healthcare system. She did a great job, but sadly, the president and Congress are refusing to listen. They are still dead set on passing a half-baked health reform bill by the summer, though most experts agree it won't solve the problem because it keeps insurance companies as middlemen. We continue to fight and take inspiration from the idea that one day we will have single-payer, since there is no other system that would work. Deborah Burger, RN | Geri Jenkins, RN Malinda Markowitz, RN | Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee also produces California Nurse, which it will ™ continue to publish periodically. 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. Our contact information is in the masthead. executive editor Rose Ann DeMoro editor Lucia Hwang graphic design Jonathan Wieder communications director Charles Idelson contributors Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD Donna Smith photography Jaclyn Higgs Lauren Reid

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