National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine April-May 2015

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NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN 2153-0386 print /ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, April | May 2015 Volume 111/3 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 nursing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is pub- lished monthly except for combined issues in January and February, April and May, 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, Choppy Oshiro many of us probably have fond memories of the senior registered nurses who first precepted us when we were starting out in the profession. Okay, if not fond, then at least respectful! These nurses helped us make the grand leap from learning about nursing to practicing nursing. We came in as fresh RNs in our new jobs, but under their tute- lage, usually had 12 weeks to gain the skills and show our competency before we moved to taking care of patients all on our own. Unfortunately, for a rapidly growing number of new nurses, those days are gone. As we explain in this month's feature story, hospitals have effectively outsourced that precepting period and other aspects of nursing education to nursing schools and other third-party companies. Fully licensed nurses are no longer officially employed by the hospital with a regular salary as they learn the ropes, but are instead expected to work unpaid in any number of "internships," "residencies," and "transition-to-practice" programs run by these groups, yet never guaranteed a job. And many of these programs stress online learning over hands-on precepting. The imminent death of traditional preceptorships is a huge step backward for our profes- sion, not only as a devaluing of nursing work when licensed RNs are expected to labor for free, but also in the lowering of education and nursing acculturation stan- dards. You can read all about it in this issue, and also about how nurses refused to allow this to happen at their hospital. In other news, our nurses have been pretty busy all around the country! We reintroduced our Robin Hood Tax bill in Congress, California nurses staged some major, suc- cessful strikes, Massachusetts nurses are protesting staffing cuts, Minnesota nurses are fighting to protect the RN scope of practice in their state, and Veterans Affairs nurses have introduced a bill to grant them the same collective bargain- ing rights that all workers deserve. And our executive direc- tor RoseAnn DeMoro's column and our chats with Kay McVay, RN and president emeritus of the California Nurses Association, are always worth reading. In case you haven't noticed, corporate healthcare is steadily chip, chip, chipping away at our profession and our ability to advocate for our patients, so please get involved. We need you! 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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