National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine March-April 2018

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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 2018 (Volume 114/2) 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 Bonnie Castillo, RN EDITOR Lucia Hwang GRAPHIC DESIGN Jonathan Wieder COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Charles Idelson CONTRIBUTORS Barb Brady, Gerard Brogan, RN PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Sarah Maple, Choppy Oshiro these are tumultuous times we live in. At the same time as we witness massive deregula- tion of rules and standards that protect the public, and privatization of our longstand- ing public institutions, such as the Veterans Health Adminis- tration, the nurses of NNU continue to score unprece- dented wins in organizing, bargaining contracts, strength- ening regulations, and fighting for expansion of public programs, such as Medicare for all. Just in these past months, we have unionized new nurses and healthcare workers, and shepherded into existence the toughest work- place violence prevention regulations for the country in California. How do we reconcile all this bad news with the good news? But these seemingly dissonant events are actu- ally not. What we learn upon closer examination is that in instances where working people band together into strong unions and fight alongside the public for a societal good, we can and often win. These are important lessons: the strug- gle is tough, but it matters. To borrow from the words of the great Frederick Douglass, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." What we see is that when our mighty nurses unions are well organized and partner with our patients and the public, we can not only hold the line against corpo- rate power, but also make gains. One of the areas in which we must do a better job of this hits very close to home: the regulation and setting of stan- dards for the nursing profession itself. In this issue of the magazine, you can learn more about the dangers of the movement, backed by healthcare corporations and the nursing groups that enable them, to establish a national RN licensure program. Often called the nurse licensure compact, or multistate licensure, the system allows nurses to practice in many states with only their home state license. It sounds harmless enough until you really consider all the consequences and whom this program ultimately benefits. And guess which states are opposed? That's right, the states with the strongest RN union presence. You can educate yourself and your colleagues all about it in this issue. Nurses, keep up the fight every day, at the side of your patients, in your communities, and at the state and federal levels. Remember, we are leaders in the resistance against the corporate takeover of everything. We are not exaggerat- ing when we say that the world is counting on us. Deborah Burger, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Copresidents Letter from the NNU presidents Stay connected FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: VIMEO: DIGITAL MAGAZINE:

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