National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine April-May 2014

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NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN 2153-0386 print /ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, April | May 2014 Volume 110/3 is pub- lished 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 cover- age and commen tary on matters of nurs- ing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is pub- lished monthly except for combined issues in January and Febru- ary, 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 announce- ment, 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. Please contact us with your story ideas They can be about practice or manage- ment 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 don't you just hate Nurses Week sometimes? It's that time of year when our employ- ers pay a lot of lip service to how much they "value" us nurses and treat us to pizza or little lunch sacks printed with the hospital logo, yet they don't value us quite enough to safely staff the units, to treat us with respect when we are bar- gaining contracts or exercising our union rights to be patient advocates, or to even stock the supply rooms properly! Each year, National Nurses United members reclaim Nurses Week and demand changes to the profession that nurses really need, want, and would actually help our patients. This year, NNU and Global Nurses United staged a global day of action under the theme "Healthcare is a human right." Nurses from Australia to Chicago to Ireland marched, rallied, and spoke up about reforms we all need: safe staffing ratios, decent wages, an end to devastating cuts to public health budgets, patient safety legislation, bans on environmental pollutants, and more. During Nurses Week, NNU also launched a major cam- paign to alert RNs across the country and the general public about the dangers of hospital restructuring. We know from daily experience that patients are getting discharged too early and that electronic health records systems often get in the way of actually caring for patients, but this campaign steps back and exposes corporate healthcare's big-picture plans for our healthcare system: getting rid of hospitals as we know it and shifting care to the home; eliminating as much as possi- ble in-person contact with healthcare providers; depending on computers and robots to diagnose treatment and provide "care." If you noticed that RNs are missing from this picture, good. Because that's their goal. NNU started airing a series of radio ads and videos to educate the public about this scary Brave New World and why patients must insist on a regis- tered nurse! You can read all about it in this month's issue and view the ads at Here in the United States, the Massachusetts nurses are on a mission! Not only are they on a full court press to win two critical initiatives on the state ballot this November, one to be the next state in the country to win safe RN staffing ratios and the other to bring greater transparency to hospi- tal finances, but they are also fighting hospital closures and service cuts across the state. The most dramatic of these has been the sudden closure of North Adams Regional Hospital with only three days' notice – in violation of state law. It's a critical time for our profession, so you can't afford to not get involved! Deborah Burger, RN | Karen Higgins, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Council of Presidents Letter from the Council of Presidents Stay connected FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: YOUTUBE: DIGITAL MAGAZINE:

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