National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine December 2013

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Letter from the Council of Presidents what a year! We can hardly believe 2013 is over and another one is right around the corner. We have accomplished so much. Every December, our staff compiles a big index of everything we've published in this magazine over the past 12 months and prints it in this last issue of the year. It's always so impressive to see each protest, organizing win, and contract victory listed. For example, did you know the National Nurses United and its affiliates settled at least 25 contracts this year covering tens of thousands of nurses? And seven of those were first contracts! And we unionized at least seven new facilities this year, to boot. Our incredible success organizing nurses and at the bargaining table is a testament to the strength, vision, and integrity of all of you who are leading this national nurses movement. 2013 was also a watershed year because this was the first time we solidified our outreach with registered nurses internationally through formation of Global Nurses United (GNU). Because of our joint efforts, we are able to get a clearer picture of the corporate healthcare forces at work around the world, the dangerous austerity games that governments are playing with the health and welfare of their citizens, and are better connected to fight back. Our network has already proven invaluable, as shown when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and we were able to immediately link up with a local GNU member union, the Alliance of Health Workers, to get our volunteer nurses on the ground NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN 2153-0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, December 2013 Volume 109/10 is published by National Nurses United, 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 and providing care to typhoon victims as soon as possible. You can read more about their work in this issue, too. Also in these pages, our former NNU staffer Donna Smith, who now heads up the group Healthcare for All Colorado, shares everything she learned from a recent trip to Australia, where she was invited to speak to several nursing unions and other groups about the failings of the American privatized healthcare system. We don't want to give away what happened, but let's just say Donna gained some first-hand experience of the Australian public system, and a greater understanding of what's at stake in the growing effort by global healthcare corporations to privatize more and more of the Aussie system. As always, thank you for all of your hard work and tenacious advocacy in serving as that last line of defense between your patients and the hospital, between your community and healthcare industry, and between our society and the corporate agenda of profit, profit, profit above all else. We are honored to work alongside all of you and have great hope that we will accomplish even more in this coming year. What's on your wish list? Just for starters, we would like Medicare for all, a Robin Hood Tax, and an end to climate change. Let's make it happen. Deborah Burger, RN | Karen Higgins, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Council of Presidents combined issues in January and February, and July and August. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to National Nurse, 2000 ™ Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement, fax (510) 663-0629. National Nurse™ is carried on the NNU website at For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. Stay connected @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: YOUTUBE: DIGITAL MAGAZINE: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: 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. You can reach us at EXECUTIVE EDITOR RoseAnn DeMoro EDITOR Lucia Hwang GRAPHIC DESIGN Jonathan Wieder COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Charles Idelson CONTRIBUTORS Gerard Brogan, RN, Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD, Jan Rabbers, Donna Smith, David Schildmeier, Ann Kettering Sincox PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Erin FitzGerald

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