National Nurses United

Registered Nurse November 2007

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LETTER FROM THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS the weather may be cooling down, but the recent San Diego wildfires really ignited CNA/NNOC activities in October. It was the first time our Registered Nurse Response Network, formed after 2005's Hurricane Katrina to organize and ready RN volunteers, was tapped to send nurses to help with a major disaster. We're happy to report that our RNRN volunteers stepped up and performed beautifully. But lack of all the firefighting power and other resources needed should make us question just how prepared our federal, state, and local governments are to handle these kinds of catastrophes, and to demand better. There are other dangers lurking in our communities as well. Recently, a new Centers for Disease Control report said Methicillin-resistant staph kills 19,000 Americans each year, more than AIDS does, and suddenly the headlines were all about super bugs. This is old news to us nurses and has been reported in these magazine pages before; we revisit and update the important topic in this issue through the angle of nursing, pointing out that RN understaffing and cuts in cleaning crews to maximize hospital profits play a big factor in the spread of such frightening germs. And as we continue our fight to win single-payer, guaranteed healthcare to every person in this country, it's instructive to turn an eye across the globe and take stock of what's happening with one of the most famous single-payer systems in the world: the United Kingdom's National Health Service. As our correspondent Gerard Brogan reports, the NHS is preparing to celebrate its 60th birthday, REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, November 2007 Volume 103/9 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 but the forces of privatization—if left unchecked—could hasten an untimely death for the revered institution. NHS supporters, who turned out Nov. 3 in London for a huge parade to show their appreciation of the NHS and its core values of every human's right to equal access to healthcare, are determined not to let that happen. As always at CNA/NNOC, the fundamental but critical work of representing registered nurses chugs along. Nurses at several different facilities—from Oakland, Calif. to Maine—settled precedent-setting contracts in October while others, such as the 10,000 University of California RNs and 5,000 Sutter Health RNs, prepare themselves for further battles with their hardheaded employers. Nationwide, CNA/NNOC embarked on a trip to Kentucky to support Appalachian nurses on strike, and our nurse members in Texas are more jazzed than ever after their Oct. 23 organizing conference. On the back cover, you'll notice that Michael Moore's documentary SiCKO has come out on DVD and we're encouraging nurses to hold house party viewings to share this mind-changing film with their friends and family. It's one small step we can each take to help bring healthcare to everyone. 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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