National Nurses United

Registered Nurse January-February 2009

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LET TER FROM THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS 2009 is shaping up to be a year of tremendous challenge, but also one of historic opportunity. As registered nurses, we see the physical and psychological damage the current economic crisis has inflicted on American families, our patients. As people lose their jobs, they are also losing what little healthcare they had. For many, a miserable healthcare situation grows even more desperate. And it looks like things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. But registered nurses will now be in a better position to help. CNA/NNOC announced in February that we are teaming up with two of the country's most activist RN groups, the United American Nurses and the Massachusetts Nurses Association, to form the largest RN union in U.S. history. The three groups together are about 150,000 RNs strong, and our number one goal is to organize all RNs in the country under one umbrella with a common agenda of promoting strong RN practice, safe patient care through legislation such as ratios, and guaranteed healthcare for everyone by extending Medicare to all. Despite the bleakness of our nation's economic situation, we feel so much more hopeful just thinking of what our new group, called UAN-NNOC, can accomplish when we unite the spirit, power, influence, and caring of all registered nurses. We are still sorting out the details of how the new group will work, so stay tuned for more developments. We registered nurses must take advantage of this year's political opportunities as well. Many of us celebrated the REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, January/February 2009 Volume 105/1 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 inauguration of President Barack Obama into the White House and, right now, he is developing far-reaching plans on jobs, healthcare, and energy (to name just a few areas) that will influence the lives of generations of Americans to come. He needs working women and men, represented by the labor movement, to put grassroots pressure on both him and Congress to do the right thing. Nowhere are we, registered nurses, needed more than in the debate over healthcare reform. While a majority of Americans support and desperately need single-payer healthcare, many in Congress have convinced themselves and each other that it can't be done politically. We're here to tell them otherwise, because lives are literally at stake. So please get plugged into what we're doing. This is a year of change, and registered nurses of course must make it change for the better. 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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