National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine March-April 2017

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NATIONAL NURSE,™ (USPS publication permit number 0807-560/ISSN 2153-0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, March-April 2017 (Volume 113/2) is published by National Nurses United, 155 Grand Avenue, Oak- land, CA 94612-2908. It provides news of or ganizational activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries gen- eral coverage and commen tary on matters of nursing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is published five times per year, with combined issues in January-February, March-April, May-June, July-August-September, and October- November-December. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to National Nurse, ™ 155 Grand Avenue, 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 Barb Brady, Gerard Brogan, RN, PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Choppy Oshiro, Kate Usher why did you become a nurse? If you are like us, the answer is simple: Because we wanted to help people. And, if you've been practic- ing for any good amount of time, you realized after a while, just like we did, that sometimes it's really, really hard to help our patients. Because they don't have regular healthcare and come in to the hospital when their disease is too far gone. Because they make $8 an hour and can't afford their medications. Because they are so stressed out about paying their rent or putting food on the table that they don't improve. Because they live in a neighborhood where the air is thick with diesel fumes and they'll get shot at if they walk outside after dark. Because they have mental health issues and we as a country don't fund that. Because they are poor. Most nurses, especially those from public health back- grounds, understand that health is dependent upon so much more than just seeing the doctor once a year, exercis- ing, and eating right. Health is dependent upon your socioeconomic status first and foremost; your access to clean water, food, air, and land; the kind of roof you have over your head, if you have one at all; the educational opportunities you have had; and much, much more. Somewhere along the way, most nurses realize that to truly heal our patients, we have to heal their living condi- tions outside the hospital or clinic. And to do that, we must heal society. We must fight for living-wage jobs. We must fight for affordable housing. We must fight against the mass incar- ceration of whole generations of young black and brown men. We must fight against climate change and for renew- able energy or it will all be moot! This is the main reason National Nurses United mem- bers are so active on all fronts in fighting for social, eco- nomic, racial, and climate justice. Because nurses get it, we are a union that gets it, too. And the American people appreciate and depend on our leadership. It's no coincidence that, year after year, nurses are ranked as the most honest and ethical profession. Let's step up to the challenge and carry on nursing's long tradition of social advocacy. The health of our nation, and of the world, depends on it. It starts with us, and it starts with you. Deborah Burger, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Co-presidents Letter from the NNU presidents Stay connected FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: YOUTUBE: DIGITAL MAGAZINE:

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