I came across this article in Medical News, Helen I bet you did not know it actually went into print thought I would share it with the die hards here, maybe it will lend credence to our inner motives. We have to say we gave it a good try Helen.It is just too bad this came so late.This is what the Million Nurse March is supposed to stand for not the rhetoric they are putting out now, calling for Nurses to compromise. Such a shame. But I am sure some will enjoy this!
Monday • May 14 • 2001
Million Nurse March to “Blow the Whistle” on Unsafe Healthcare Practices and Gain Respect for Nurses
By Jeff Keller, NurseZone staff writer
An organizer of the Million Nurse March—a planned march on Washington, D.C., by what organizers hope will be one million nurses, healthcare professionals and consumers on May 9-10, 2002—said that “scaring the public” is one welcome byproduct of raising awareness of nursing and healthcare issues.
“They should be scared,” said Helen Cook, RN, co-president of the Million Nurse March planning committee. Cook said that the goal of the Million Nurse March is to “openly and honestly present the facts about the state of healthcare delivery in this country.” By mobilizing more than one million nurses, allied health care providers, legislators, public figures and private citizens, she hopes to send a clear message to the general public—as well as to lawmakers—that working conditions in hospitals, long term care facilities and clinics need to be improved to ensure staff and patient safety.
In addition to addressing nurse-patient issues, the mission of the march is to:
Motivate all healthcare workers to act locally and nationally;
Facilitate public awareness concerning safe and unsafe healthcare delivery;
Encourage the media to represent accurately and vividly the issues that nurses and allied healthcare workers face every day when care is delivered;
Serve as a resource for accurate data and information exchange about nursing and healthcare deliver; and
Encourage and support recruitment and retention of new nurses into the profession.
Cook said that she expects the result of the Million Nurse March will be increased meaningful dialogue among healthcare workers and improved working conditions in hospitals, long term care facilities, clinics and other facilities where nursing is practiced. By drawing attention to the nursing shortage Cook said that the march would educate the public about the risks facing patients as well as nurses. These risks range from too few nurses caring for too many patients, to the attitudes and relationships between nurses and other healthcare staff.
Cook turned her nursing experience into activism after her father was diagnosed with diabetes and she saw the shortcomings of the nation’s healthcare delivery system firsthand—this time as a consumer.
The Million Nurse March Web site (www.millionnursemarch.org) list news and features about the nursing profession and about the ongoing preparations for the Million Nurse March. The interactive community site also includes a chat room and message board and polls, which ask nurses about their own experiences, such as, “How often do you get off from work on time?” (More than 40% of respondents said “less than 50 percent of the time.”
Cook and the four other board members who are responsible for planning the march are contacting nursing organizations and media outlets state-by-state to build awareness for what they are billing as “the sentinel event in the promotion of positive, proactive, productive and sustainable change in nursing care delivery in the United States.” Board members and local organizers will meet in Washington, D.C., in spring 2000 to plan the location for the march and subsequent rally.
At the local level, nurse activists are meeting with businesses in their communities as well with large corporations to seek sponsorship for the march and to help nurses across the country travel to Washington, D.C., for the rally.
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