National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine September 2011

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NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN 2153-0386 print /ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, September 2011 Volume 107/7 is published by National Nurses United, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. It provides news of organi- zational activities and reports on devel- opments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries general coverage and commen tary on matters of nursing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is published 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, Lauren Reid what a september to remember! The RNs of Nation- al Nurses United have been going nonstop for a month, and that's no joke. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Our feet hurt, and that's saying something, because you all know how much abuse as nurses they already take. But, hey, it's all good, because we can see how much progress we've made toward building a nation- al—and increasingly, international—nurses movement that prioritizes the needs of working people and patients over cor- porate greed and profits. Where to begin? We kicked off the month with an unprece- dented series of events across the country on Sept. 1 to call for a Wall Street Transaction Tax, our National Day of Action. It was a beautiful sight to see. Nurses and community members in 21 states hosted every kind of soup kitchen, rally, food, clothing, and school supplies drive, you name it, to call attention to the suffering of people on Main Street. Most importantly, we called out our Congressional representatives by asking them to endorse our Wall Street tax. "Which side are you on? Main Street's or Wall Street's?" thousands of nurses questioned. Just two weeks later, about 1,000 of us converged in San Francisco for our second annual convention. It was a time to reflect upon and celebrate our accomplishments, as well as learn from and network with new and old faces. We heard how the global economic crisis is threatening nurses and patients around the world from an esteemed panel of international nurse leaders, took to the streets for our Wall Street tax and against the corporate hospital chain of Sutter Health, and honored a true Main Street hero, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. We all left feeling reenergized and inspired, ready to take the lessons of the convention back to nurses in our home states and workplaces. Less than a week later, 23,000 Sutter, Kaiser Permanente, and Children's Hospital of Oakland nurses in Northern and Central California held a one-day strike, the biggest strike in U.S. history. Kaiser nurses did so in sympathy and support of their coworkers. No nurse likes to strike, but these RNs walked out to hold the line for themselves, their patients, and their communities against greedy corporations who care only about maximizing profits. It was a momentous event and much needed to remind hospitals (and nurses) about who does all the real work of caring for and healing patients, and about who ultimately holds the power: nurses! Nurses at the University of Michigan Health System are similarly fighting for a fair contract, and 1,000 of them turned out recently for a massive picket and rally. Even though this September would be hard to top, we're sure we'll do so in short order. NNU nurses are on a roll, and there's no stopping us now. Deborah Burger, RN | Karen Higgins, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Council of Presidents Letter from the Council of Presidents Stay connected FACEBOOK: FLICKR: TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses YOUTUBE: TOC_Layout 1 10/11/11 9:24 PM Page 2

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