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Discussion Question January 10, 2006 5:17 AM


I'm going to start a discussion question although I don't know whether Brent wants to make them weekly or monthly; or how he wants to choose the questions. 

But, for now I'm going to throw this one out there because Ann started it earlier.

Should there be a National Nurses' Union?  I don't have to tell you folks about long hours, short pay, and holidays, weekends, double & rotating shifts, or staff shortages.  But, along with labor unions come dues, work stopages, and job descriptions.  How do you feel about a National Union for Nurses?

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 January 26, 2006 1:49 PM

Dawn, you are a Godsend!! My computer is still down and I haven't had much time to get on here. A million thanks to you for all you are doing.

Yes, yes, yes, I think there needs to be a nurses union.Even though nursing ranks as the #1 most respected profession, I think nurses get little respect from the companies that employ them. (generally speaking) Some times they just don't get it.

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 January 26, 2006 2:05 PM


Thank you for the kudos.  Actually, I've been busy too or I would be doing more posting.  I have some articles, if I only had the time, .  I am in the process of moving across he country.

Now, about unions:  If it's clear that nurses need and deserve unions, what stands as the biggest impediment to organizing?  Are nurses themselves ambivalent about union representation, or does the administration's threats, and lack of support keep unions out of nursing facillities? 

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anonymous  January 28, 2006 2:27 AM

HMMM I'm grumbling about my union! they are impossible to reach! and they haven't even sent me my welcome pack!! and I joined them in september!

whoops! forgot to say who they are! it's the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

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 May 05, 2006 8:46 AM

Hi every one. I found it scary to think that you have no union to support you, and yes I think it is importent to have one. We have two in S.A. And I have to say they are quite good as well   [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 May 05, 2006 8:59 AM

I think all nurses deserve to have union support. Many don't and some that do find that their unions are not to effective. A national union for nurses would be ideal, I doubt we'll see it during this administration though.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Nurses Union May 06, 2006 7:49 PM

ABSOLUTELY! I worked for a long time under the auspices of the "administration". When the "other" hospital in our town installed a union, they had their inevitable strike and at that point our adm. decided to hire anyone who wanted to change places of work. They pushed us back to accomadate the new employees, but after the strike was over, those "newly hired" were suddenly put on-call and we were asked back to full time. If we'd had a national union nothing like that could go on. Everyone got hurt over that---and in a smaller area where good jobs aren't as plentiful, it's not as easy to just quit and start somewhere else unless you're willing to totally relocate.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 May 08, 2006 7:32 AM

Though I'm not a nurse yet (I'm starting clinicals in January) I'd like to respond. One way to look at this is demographically. In a short time the baby boomers will be retired and needing health care, also factor in that the baby boomers include nurses. This will increase the work load for present nurses several fold. Given this fact, and the fact that nurses (and the vast majority of the work force in general) are increasingly pressured for produtivity, a national nurses union seems inevitable. How it will develope and benifit the nurses and their patients is anyone's guess.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Union or No Union June 27, 2006 10:53 PM

Well on paper this sounds good, but the reality of getting any group of nurses to agree on any one criteria is akin to getting ole GW to see your point of view on making potato slaad.  I dare say that we are talking about a profession that as yet, not decided on entry level education, or what to call whoever graduates from the various programs.  We are all still stuck in semantics while physical therapy has gone on and decided that issue long ago and then has proceded to take on some nursing functions to the point where the physicians now prescribe some care to be done by PT.  Case in point would be wound care.  Well,  do I remember a time when that was what one did as a nurse on a surgical unit especially?  What exactly are nurses allowed to do on surgery if not change dressings and provide wound care?

But I do not see these same PT folk making home visits after 5 PM or taking call for a          homehealth agency or the floor on the weekend. They are gone like the doctor, home.  They very adeptly made the profession of Physical Therapy an honored and respected profession while we, nurses with soft hearts and minds still squabble about entrance requirements into the profession.  If we do not have enough self respect and confidence to get our act together, chances are half of the unions we will wind up with are the same ones who represent the textile workiers, or the waiters and waitresses.  It is a nice idea but I don't see it happening.  And suppose it is a national union.  Would it be the be all and end all.  Would everyone have to agree or would their be votes. I grew up in a union family in a union town.  I now live in a right to work state. Which would be better--union.  Which is reality?  Right to work legislation.  We don't like you good by dont let the door hit you on the way out.

*And just remmber--we never have found Jimmy Hoffa's body.*  (just kidding folks)

And so once again I have overstayed my welcome. Just my opinion.  I am one of the aging baby boomers.  I am allowed to be cranky about this profession.  I earned it.

Mary G

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