A Nurses Week Retrospective on the Hard Work of NNU’s Mighty, Mighty Nurses
From championing RN health and safety, to fighting for big picture patient protections, it has been a year of great achievements by NNU RNs.
On the final day of Nurses Week 2017, we’re proud to look back at five major accomplishments by NNU nurses between Nurses Week 2016 and today. From fighting for and winning nation-leading RN protections, to patient advocacy at the bedside and beyond, NNU nurses deserve to be celebrated this week (and every week!) for all they do to stand up for a healthier future. Here’s a special Nurses Week retrospective on the hard work of the mighty NNU nurses — and we look forward to another year of effective advocacy on all fronts!
- Introducing National & State-Level Safe Staffing Legislation
In 49 states, healthcare corporations can still cut corners on staffing, with no limit to how many patients nurses are assigned at once. NNU has spent decades fighting to right this wrong, including winning safe staffing ratios in California. And we won’t stop fighting until nurses across America are protected! That’s why we’ve spent the past year working with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to launch NNU-sponsored legislation (introduced this week) setting national nurse-to-patient safety limits. NNU also sponsored safe staffing regulations in Ohio (SB55/Skindell), introduced in February, as well as a safe staffing bill in Minnesota (HF 2650/Davids) introduced just this week. A big Nurses Week thank you to NNU nurses for fighting so hard to protect nurses and patients across the country.
- Winning Nation-Leading Workplace Violence Legislation
When nurses aren’t safe, patients aren’t safe! That’s why NNU nurses have led the fight for mandatory, comprehensive workplace violence protections. This past year, their hard work really paid off, when nation-leading workplace violence protections were implemented in California, as a result of 2014 legislation sponsored by the California Nurses Association/NNU. NNU nurses also achieved big things at the federal level, when the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) granted NNU’s petition for a national workplace violence prevention standard. Check out RN Allysha Shin explaining why she went to Washington, D.C. to petition for the national standard.
- Rallying Across America for Medicare for All
This week, NNU RNs from 19 states celebrated Nurses Week 2017 by convening in Washington, D.C., where they pressed members of Congress to oppose the draconian health insurance/tax cut for the wealthy bill passed by the House and instead advocate for Medicare for all. Of course, NNU RNs are longtime champions of this fight, and other recent achievements include joining January actions in over 70 U.S. cities to demand that the new administration and Congress protect and expand access to healthcare for millions of Americans. NNU nurses in California are also leading the way with California Nurses Association/NNU-sponsored legislation SB 562 (Lara & Atkins), which would guarantee healthcare to all Californians. Hundreds of nurses will even be rallying in California’s capitol on May 19 at the California Democratic Convention to urge legislators to vote yes on SB 562. When healthcare is under attack, what do nurses do? Stand up, fight back!
- Standing Up For Environmental Justice
Over the past year, NNU RNs have stood up loud and proud for environmental justice — including volunteer nurses with NNU’s Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN) deploying to stand with Standing Rock. A healthy society is one in which everyone has a voice, and NNU nurses stood in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), to protect their sacred land and water — as well as the water source of up to 17 million people downstream. NNU nurses have also fought for environmental justice in their home communities, saying no to dirty oil pipelines across the country and showing up in force for the 2017 science and climate marches. A huge Nurses Week shout out to NNU RNs, who constantly prove they won’t stand for a world of private profit over public health.
- Launching a Groundbreaking Campaign & Conference
NNU nurses deserve major credit for always being on the forefront of the movement for real change! In 2016, NNU launched the Nurses Health Nurses Health & Safety Campaign (NHSC) — a network of nurses and allies, committed to collectively advocating for nurse health and safety. In 2017, we’re going full speed ahead to fight for national nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, workplace violence prevention, safe patient handling, and infectious disease protections. We celebrate this important joint campaign with our fellow nurses and allies! Join the NHSC here. NNU nurses also stood on the front lines for change by helping to launch a historic 2016 convening of organizations and individuals committed to social, racial, economic and environmental justice, the People’s Summit. The gathering is happening again in just a few weeks, and we couldn’t be more proud to know that NNU nurses always step up to ensure nurses’ values are front and center in the conversation around how to shape a healthier future.
Congratulations to NNU nurses for always standing strong, speaking up, and leading with your hearts, toward a better tomorrow. Your hard work is deeply appreciated, at the bedside and beyond. To become a member of National Nurses United, click here.