National Nurses United

Registered Nurse January-February 2008

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TOC:2 2/8/08 2:24 PM Page 2 LETTER FROM THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS t h i n g s m o v e s o fa s t here at CNA/NNOC that it's hard to single out specific moments to note, but we're happy to report that the organization has had a phenomenal couple of months and a few events stand out. First off, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurse and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) decided to affiliate with CNA/NNOC in January, growing our overall national membership to 80,000 and bringing on a whole cadre of passionate, determined, activist registered nurses to help us in our ongoing fight to make sure all patients have access to one, high-quality standard of care and that nurses across the country are able to safely practice nursing the way we know it can be. PASNAP is a growing, feisty union, and we'll be combining forces and resources to take the country by storm. Second, CNA/NNOC in California spearheaded an amazing political upset of the insurance industry and the politicians who love them (and their campaign cash). The health committee of the California Senate overwhelmingly voted down a dangerous, anti-consumer, anti-patient bill that would have required every Californian to buy private health insurance, with no guarantees of affordability or caps on costs, or face garnishment of wages or mortgage liens. Even worse, states across the country were hoping to pass similar laws if the California measure passed! Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had teamed up to ram this horrible measure through the Legislature, but thanks to our leadership and education of the labor movement and the public, we convinced the com- REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, January/February 2008 Volume 104/1 is published by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, 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 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 mittee to kill the bill. We stopped California and perhaps the rest of the nation from starting down a very treacherous road. Thankfully, we can now focus on mapping out how to build the road to single-payer healthcare. To do that, we need to create and build a popular revolt of patients against the current system, and we've started by collecting the stories of people denied medical care. Frequently, these are patients who have insurance policies, but find them useless in insuring against bankruptcy, foreclosure, and further illness because they can't afford the rising premiums, copays, and deductibles the companies charge at will. Some of them are even registered nurses. We're going to be leading these patients to action. So if you haven't made resolutions, here's one to make: Promise that this year you will work to make single-payer healthcare happen for America. We've got all sorts of activities that you can plug into through our website like letter writing and petition gathering, but there's so much you can do out on your own in the community to build momentum for this desperately needed reform. Educate yourself and share what you know with your church, your relatives, your kid's soccer league, and your neighbors. They'll listen to you. You're a nurse. 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 associate editor Erika Larson graphic design Jonathan Wieder communications director Charles Idelson contributors Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD photography Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes

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