A Call To Arms

  1. Ok, I can't let it die, I know. What about a call to arms, decide the issues and write a declaration of sorts describing what are concerns, etc. are; and then calling for a meeting to discuss these issues?
    Sounds vaguely familiar doesn't it? Can't help it you guys, you know I won't quit. So...Chellyse, Helen, JT, Karen, and all you other die hards out there(natalie, and all those others who I have now deleted email addresses for!!!!), what do you think? A new national movement or empower the states? Am I spiting in the wind? I am up for 2 federal appointments and am not out to become "black listed" I just think we need to keep fighting.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   CEN35
    This post ahd me thouroughly confused???? It meant????????

    Rick
  4. by   Barbara Rose
    Rick,
    Sorry, this has to do with old and long ago posts, and the start of the million nurse march on this bb. It was a new name and format for the others who were in the MNM and want to do something. Just more on a personal note to the old timers.
  5. by   natalie
    Hey Texas, glad to see you're still kicking around. I'm thinkin that most reform will come at our own individual states' level. I recently read something re: a Texas Nursing Assoc. gathering. Are you involved with them? Are they effective?

    Barbara, what did you mean about the 2 federal appts. and blacklisting? You lost me on that one.
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Barbara:
    Since each state has their own SBON that controls nursing within each state, insurances are regionally administered; Medical assistance benifits are individualized on state level and MC is Federal /national insurance with regional administration, feel it is in nurses best interest to work within each state re legislation that contols nursing practice within the state and to have some contact with a national organization like ANA to influence Federal rules and regulations. Good luck on your appointments. Glad to see your .02C being posted again here. How have things worked out with TNA?? What activities in TX for nurse week /legislation occuring there?
    Hope the grandson is keeping you running too! LOL

    If each one of us particiipated in a professional group on some level, nursing would have so much control over healthcare spending and nuring acrivities; WE WOULD BE IN THE DRIVERS SEAt due to our#'s. Let'sall STAND UP for ourselves.
    Wildtime, you may remain seated.

    [ May 10, 2001: Message edited by: NRSKarenRN ]
  7. by   Barbara Rose
    I agree with the state level. And, Nat, yes I am involved on that level. Texas nurses association and BNE are having town hall meetings locally with nurses to address their issues. I am hosting a meeting in Paris with them. I am also attending one next week in the Dallas area to get a feel for how they are going.
    I was just thinking that as nurses, we all basically have the same concerns and a join effort with a call to arms might give us a unitified agenda. Just thinking out loud, which usually gets me in trouble. Anyway, thanks for the input.
    Natalie: the federal appointments are through the ANA, I submitted my application cause I figured my opinions were as valuable as anyone elses. Anyway, I was notified that my name was accepted and submitted for 2 committee appointments. Won't get the results until end of May or June but I am excited that I might actually get one of them. If anyone has any connections and would like to help, that's ok with me too. I have the support of my congressmen/women and some on the state level as well. I also asked TNA to assist, don't know what will become of it. I guess that's all I know for now. Keep up the good work you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. by   natalie
    GOOD FOR YOU BARBARA!!!!!

    (And sorry, I have absolutely no connections to anyone. )
  9. by   Chellyse66
    Great Barbara!!!!
    I hope you get the appointments.I had thought about when they came up but was so busy thinking the MNM was going to actually materialize at the time...So much for that.
    I agree we need to work on legislation on individual state levels, but also give merit to a national movement. I believe it can still be done with the right leadership and direction. Somehow a unified front but also giving back in some way.It has to be a give and take situation to work. I know there has been alot of talk on this BB about a work stoppage, or walk out,put a twist on it and it may be appealing. I know the CNA is making strides and pushing for a National Union and I know the ANA is attempting to become more proactive for the bedside nurse. I am riding the fence...Unity is needed first and foremost but not only on issues but genuine solutions.Money ,salaries of course tops,workplace conditions mandatory OT banning.What about a national nurse mentoring program of sorts. Veteran Nurses helping new nurses or sponsering youth that want to become nurses.We need to unify and build up the profession not tear it down,improve salaries and conditions for the new generation of nurses. I am rambling too. It is great to see you posting again.I will keep my fingers crossed for the appointments.
  10. by   PeggyOhio
    Hello to you Barbara Rose and congratulations on your endeavors. And hello to you Michele.

    Here we are the three original moderators of the MNM march (Barbara, Michelle and Peggy )eight months later still hoping. (I was "McPeg" then until my son sabbotaged the website and my passwords and I had to change my "display" name.

    Anyway I know what you mean Barbara about wanting to make a "national" statement. I keep dreaming about nurses coming together as one powerful national voice in healthcare also.

    I attended the ONA rally in Columbus Ohio yesterday. I have to say I was disappointed in the number of nurses that feel passionately enough about what is happening to do something.

    The nurses I work with are complaining all the time. MOT, inadequate staff, wages, work environment, unrealistic expectations, you name it they complain, but will they extend themselves to do something. I'm adding nursing apathy to my list of complaints. How do we get nurses mobilized to do something about the situation, besides complaining.

    Michele I know what you mean too. I posted this under another topic.
    I am still "fence" sitting about membership in a professional organization. Not because I'm apathetic. Cost is a factor. But, I probably will join in the near future because I feel it is important to support these type of "rally's" and consciousness raising events and they cost money.

    But I would like to propose that the ANA and the State Nurses Associations consider something like, oh let's call it an "associate membership", as opposed to a "full membership". The idea is to make it affordable enough that nurses wouldn't balk at the high fees and yet still keep nurses in touch with what is going.

    Say you could be an "associate" member for $20 a year. And for that you would get a decal or bumper sticker for your car that would alert the public to the nursing shortage and quarterly newsletter mailed to your home to let you know what the ANA, ONA (or your specific state association) has planned and the issues and legislation proposed, news articles, websites, and pertinant info, info, info. Whatever is left after the cost of the letter and bumper sticker would contribute to rally's and community consciousness raising events.

    It might also be enough of a postive exposure that eventually nurses would become "full members". But I think the ANA and the state associations have to reach out to nurses. Get mailing lists and send something to their homes asking them to become involved in the effort to improve our work environment and address nursing concerns. I think if the ONA had done a mailing to all nurses in Ohio not just members there would have been a better turnout.
    I think part of the apathy is really a communication problem.

    [ May 16, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
  11. by   Chellyse66
    I know Peg, so here we all are again. Now Karen accomplished alot with her Millenium March and I am glad she was successful. Yes I am sure the turn out could have been greater in both Pennsylvania and Ohio.
    I am watching and waiting too. It sickens me what happened to the MNM also.They have changes even the vision now, and contradict themselves all over the place.
    Here is the new revised vision:

    I would like to introduce you to an organization called the Million
    Nurse March. Currently, there are three leading members: Ron
    Phelps RN, BSN, Executive Director; Teri Sulewski LPN, State
    Coordinator, and Louise Garcia RN, CCRN, Media Coordinator.
    The concept of this march was created out of a profound need to
    unite the healthcare professions, and address unsafe healthcare
    practices. We are hoping to have the march in Washington D.C.
    summer/fall of 2002, but need much financial and logistical
    support to accomplish this goal. There has been excellent media
    coverage pertaining to the current nursing shortage, but very
    little about potential solutions to this crisis. We at the Million
    Nurse March believe that solutions come with activities which
    promote dialogue and purpose: consensus of ideas. This march
    will be the long over due catalyst to unify all disciplines in
    healthcare: we are inclusive, not exclusive.

    Our Goals:
    1) Unification of all healthcare workers in body and spirit:
    strength in numbers.
    2) Open dialogue and frank discussion of working conditions
    amongst healthcare workers and the public: mandatory
    overtime, high nurse-to-patient ratios, salaries, recruitment
    and retention of healthcare personnel.
    3) All inclusive: the Million Nurse March includes allied
    healthcare workers, medical professionals, families
    and friends.
    4) Informative website: Healthcare news, articles by Million
    Nurse March staff, recommended readings, printable versions
    of press releases to hand-out, helpful tips on getting the word
    out about the march.

    Medical consumers in this country are quite savvy and naturally
    want the best care for themselves, and their families. Our
    nations babyboomer population will demand quality healthcare.
    And, in part, those demands will focus much needed attention on
    nursing issues that inhibit good patient care. Every American
    needs to use a bit of preventative medicine and actively try to
    overt this crisis through participation in the Million Nurse March.

    How Can You Help?
    1) Visit the Million Nurse March Website: http://millionnursemarch.org, and sign-up for membership-
    invite all family and friends to do the same. With membership,
    updated newsletters will be delivered via e-mail.
    2) If you choose to help the Million Nurse March with
    fund-raisers, please contact us, we would be glad to assist.
    3) General word-of-mouth: this goes a long way, and it's easy too!
    4) Printable articles, press releases and mission statements can
    be accessed from our website: just make copies and pass
    them out!
    5) Ask questions: the Million Nurse March leadership is available
    to all through our website.

    Many individuals have asked questions, and are curious about
    statistics related to the nursing profession...

    1) There were 2.2 million registered nurses working in healthcare
    last year, but 494,000 were not using their license: Bureau Of
    Health Professionals.
    2) There are now 100, 000 job openings for registered nurses:
    Joseph Boshart, president of Cross Country Travelcorps.
    3) The average salary for a full-time registered nurse last year
    was $46,782: Bureau Of Health Professionals in the Federal
    Department Of Health And Human Services.
    4) The average age of a registered nurse is 45.2 years and rising:
    The Health Professionals Bureau.
    5) 41% of nurses stated they were dissatisfied with their jobs,
    and 22% stated they were planning to quit in the next year:
    Survey, Pennsylvania of 14,000 nurses.
    6) 2.1% drop in enrollment of entry-level bachelor's degree
    programs for nursing in the fall of 2000, the 6th annual drop:
    The American Association Of Colleges of Nursing in
    Washington D.C..


    The Million Nurse March is available for comment through our
    website, or directly from the Media Coordinator, Louise Garcia
    (media@millionnursemarch.org). We value the power and
    generosity of the American public, and appreciate all willing to
    help us make this march a success. If, in the future, you would
    like more information, writings, pictures, etc. from us, please
    don't hesitate to ask. On behalf of Ron, Teri and myself, thank
    you for your time and interest.

    Louise Garcia RN, CCRN
    Media Coordinator: Million Nurse March
    media@millionnursemarch.org

    Ron Phelps RN, BSN
    Executive Director: Million Nurse March

    Teri Sulewski LPN
    States Coordinator: Million Nurse March

    I believe we could have made an impact initially with a unified front, back at the grassroots level we started here at allnurses.com. This has become like anything else in healthcare "Profit driven"
    I wonder if joining the state Nursing Association or waiting for the Union expansion out of the CNA is the proper direction.As I wait I am still participating by reading the news, writing letters to editors and posting over here. I have a bad taste i my mouth from 8 mos going nowhere, but I have not given up completely yet.
    My focus has prioritized to my family and less on my profession. Apathy might be setting in, it creeps in slowly ya know.
    Breaking the apathy mask is the million dollar question I suppose. I like the idea of independent contracting, but I also believe we need to shift focus and elevate the bedside care nurse. We are educating ourselves away from the bedside...who is going to replace us?
  12. by   Chellyse66
    I forgot to mention I do like the idea of an associate membership, monetary dues that are increasing has been one of the obstacles for my not joining.I know there are arguments for the high cost of member dues and what the organization can do with them.But I do think they would intially have greater numbers of members if the dues were lowered or as Peg points out associate dues of sorts.
  13. by   rncountry
    Hello all! Barbara glad to see this post. I agree with what you say, I still have this little radical inside me saying do something! So how about if the ones of us that orginally started the MNM dialogue doing it again, but in a bit of a different way. Working on a national level is a bit overwhelming I think and as Karen pointed out it would probably work best that way. I know that working specifically in Michigan is something that I think I could do and be much more successful than doing something on a national level. So here is my thought, we formulate a plan of action that each of us can follow on a state level. A plan that can be presented to other nurses to use in their states, I still have address for people in 24 states. Barbara I don't have your new address. We can share with each other what has worked for us in our states as we move along. It would be starting at ground zero, anybody else of the original diehards up for this? We wouldn't have a time table to work against, it would be an ongoing thing that we would work on with goals to reach.
    Congratulations Barbara on your possible appointments! I am crossing my fingers for you, I would be so happy to see you get it and know that an ethical nurse that wants to work for change is in there doing her part. The way you have been doing things may well be a path for us all to work from, as well as what Karen has been doing.
    My new email address is activistrn@tm.net, please feel free to email me.
    Helen
  14. by   Jay-Jay
    Hi, guys, good to hear from you all! I'm still around too. Guess I'm one of the lucky ones...I feel our provincial nursing organization (RNAO) is doing a terrific job of fostering public awareness of health care and nursing issues. I have little doubt that we will be out in force for nursing week in 2002, I'm just not sure whether it will be just a march on the Ontario Legislature, or whether we can get something happening in Ottawa as well. A lot depends on the individual political action committees.

    Let me say this: Barbara, you go for it, girl! Show them why they say "Don't mess with Texas!" If we're unhappy with what's happening in the ANA, then, CHANGE IT!! You're paying the dues, start kicking and screaming until you get some results! The existing nursing organizations have the infrastructure and experience that the MNM organization lacks. It is so much easier to get results when these things are already in place, and don't have to be built from scratch. Still, it all boils down to the individual member, seeking to be heard, and not giving up until they've made a difference.

    Thoughts on a seperate nursing organization: maybe a seperation of function is needed?? In Ontario, the College of Nurses advocates for the patient, and sets standards of practise. The RNAO advocates for nurses. The system seems to work fairly well. Membership in the college is required to practise as a nurse, RNAO membership is voluntary... (Just a few thoughts at the end of a long, tiring day!)

    Keep trying. We'll never know what we're capable of until we do.

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A Call To Arms