Million Nurse March Information

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    Information about the Million Nurse March

    Board of Directors
    Michele Jansen RN Florida
    Helen Cook RN Michigan
    Cheryl Worden LPN Arkansas
    Ron Phelps RN BSN Virginia

    The MNM came into being as a discussion on a nursing website. That discussion than became a growing idea. Eventually that idea became an organization. We are now a growing organization of nurses from varied and diverse backgrounds and educations. It is the thought of this organization that massive changes in nursing and in how healthcare is delivered must be made. It is up to nurses to prompt those changes. Nurses are the true patient advocates, and in order to do so we must advocate for ourselves. To do this effectively the thought is to bring all nurses together. Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Certified Nurse Assistants. Each one of us makes up the important bedside team, and without us healthcare would not exist. We believe that each component of the bedside team have practice acts and certification limits that must be followed to enhance appropriate patient care, and that it is inappropriate for administrators that are not licensed bedside caregivers to put any of us into positions that demand otherwise.
    It is the vision of the Million Nurse March that the diverse voices within the field need to come together under one banner, with common ground. The MNM is the vehicle in which that can occur. We invite all organizations that have nurses within their membership to pool resources together to make this vision a reality.
    We invite all others that are concerned about patient care and the state of healthcare to join with us. Other healthcare workers, advocacy groups, physicians, educators and public citizens. All who are concerned and feel that they can endorse and support the tenets of this organization are welcome to participate. We offer the caveat that our platform is a nursing advocacy platform that will also enhance patient care and other individual agendas cannot come in front of that.
    Our platform is for federal legislation on these specific issues
    1. Nationwide staff to patient ratios based on patient acuity; in every area that nursing care is provided. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics etc…
    2. National legislation that prohibits the use of mandatory overtime that will protect all bedside caregivers.
    3. National legislation that will put enforceable and strong whistleblower protections into place for all healthcare workers.
    4. National legislation that will prohibit the performance of skilled nursing functions by unlicensed staff.
    5. Restrictions on unsafe floating practices.
    6. Appropriate monetary compensation for skills and science based knowledge.
    Without which patient care suffers.
    This platform addresses the working conditions that are poorly impacting all nursing care across the country. It is the working conditions that have prompted the mass exodus of nurses from the bedside. This platform addresses retention issues.
    The other side of the platform must address recruitment issues. As a profession we must bury the negativity that has run rampant through our ranks. Encourage young persons to pursue entry level nursing programs, support increased funding for those that pursue nursing programs as well as increased funding and other support programs that will allow those that wish to pursue the higher education opportunities of the field.
    We need to value, respect and celebrate those that work strictly at the bedside. We need to encourage the healthcare industry to acknowledge that bedside nursing care is the bedrock on which healthcare rests, on which good patients outcomes are impossible without. We need to educate the public regarding what nurses do and how we affect the outcomes of every patient we come in contact with. We also have to acknowledge and effectively deal with the dynamics that encourage and perpetuate the mentality of “eating our young” be that the new graduate, or the experienced nurse that is new to a different field of practice. We must quit setting fires in our own house.
    The MNM has set aside two days in which to address our issues to our national legislators. May 10, 2002 for meeting with legislators that are willing to sit down and listen to our concerns, and May 11, 2002 for a March and rally to protest the treatment of nurses by the healthcare industry, highlighting how that treatment has directly impacted and exacerbated the nursing shortage. This time will also be used to educate the public and media as to what nurses do day after day, how what we do has a direct effect on patient care outcomes and to celebrate our profession for the joys it can give us as well as the care and compassion it can give others.
    Please join us in this worthwhile endeavor. Working together we will have a tremendous impact on our lives and the care of our patients.

    board@millionnursemarch.org
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  3. 35 Comments so far...

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    I was going to reply to a different thread. Something about nursing wages when this one caught my eye and after I read the "platform for federal legislation" the first thought that came to mind was

    ****YOU MUST BE SMOKING CRACK - RIGHT?****

    "Our platform is for federal legislation on these specific issues
    1. Nationwide staff to patient ratios based on patient acuity; in every area that nursing care is provided. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics etc…
    2. National legislation that prohibits the use of mandatory overtime that will protect all bedside caregivers.
    3. National legislation that will put enforceable and strong whistleblower protections into place for all healthcare workers.
    4. National legislation that will prohibit the performance of skilled nursing functions by unlicensed staff.
    5. Restrictions on unsafe floating practices.
    6. Appropriate monetary compensation for skills and science based knowledge."


    Hello???? Federal legislation that regulates how hospitals opreate?

    Um, Okay, lets join the MNM and while we are at it, lets abolish managed care and jump right into bed with socialized and/or government sponsored healthcare...This all sounds like some minority rights march or something.

    Look, the current state of healthcare is ****-poor enough...Why in the world would you want to drag the federal government into the middle of how hospitals operate???? How freaking narrow minded can you be??? While you are at it lets make sure we have a zero tolerance policy at hospitals too. Oh, and lets make sure that the environmentalists are on site to inspect each and every red biohazard container that leaves the building. Oh, and here is another idea, lets mandate that all hospital meals have the appropriate amount of foods from each of the major food groups...Lets mandate ourselves, our wallets, our taxes and our country right out of healthcare...

    Oh, while we are at it - lets have a federal mandate for a nationwide dress code for all nurses. White? Blue scrubs? Maybe we can mandate cute little teddy bear scrubs. Clogs or White sneakers? Please... MNM you are getting more embarassing as time goes on.
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    I am willing to show up in a particular city on a particular day, and to spread the word to my colleagues, but I think we need to be united on a national level to make the most effective impact. What organization/ union/association can help with national organization? What core issues are we working for? We can't just march and say we're unhappy, but not be unified when people ask unhappy about what?

    I also agree that government regulation is a short term improvement that would cause a long term headache. When has the government ever done anything effectively? Perhaps a national nursing standard is called for. If I need to perform 12 5 minute assessments four times a day, baths once a day, med passing 4 times a day, charting 10 minutes on each patient, and it all adds up to 16 hours of work on a twelve hour shift that should be absolutely illegal. If we can't make that stick how about a fee per patient,or per service. How about if I manage/must care for two labor patients, or two vent patients when the nursing national standard is one, then I get double pay.

    Just some ideas. Why don't we brainstorm solutions instead of talking about why we are going to fail.
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    Why not give up this insanity and join your state nurses associations. Like it or not, your spray-painting, banner waving, head shaving, bra burning tactics will go nowhere. You might make the 6 o'clock news, unless of course, their is a something more sensational to report about.

    You will succeeed in losing public respect for nurses,because like it or not, nurses continue to have an angelic image in the public eye. They see us as always being there, selfless, no matter what, to take care of them. Do you really want to destroy this? I for one do not.

    Join your state nurses association and allow lobbyists to obtain our political agenda. Like it or not, this is how government works. For anyone who thinks different, please check your local community college for an intro course to American government.
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    My response was a recommendation in lieu of the MNM as another avenue in voicing ones concern in general. I am prohibited by law to particapate in the MNM because I am a military officer and therefor a federal employee. I was just offering advice. I personally feel that nurses as a perfession need to get more proactive at the local & state level. What nurses need to to do is first education the community (the hospitals' customer) first and then progress from there. There is nothing like an educated consumer.
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    If you really want to make a statement, write your state cogressmen and senators. When you write, ask for a reply. Continue to do this and your ideas might get better attention. But to work, this need to be done collectively. As a military member and a nurse I find that this works. BUT AS A COLLECTIVE. A few letters here and there will fall on blind eye or get lost on paper filled desks.
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    ANA has taken the heat for stodgy, uninformed, elitist ways of the past. They should have taken the heat for that. Guilty as charged. They claimed to represent 2.6 million nurses and only represented management. They got the message loud and clear when state disaffiliations came into the picture.

    So what's happened since then? This sounds a bit corny, but there's a new face to ANA. Peruse the site and see where their concentration has been at in the past 2 years.

    But even if you don't buy that, take a good look at the history of nursing and why we're at this point of time in our history. If you believe it's ANA's fault, you're not getting the picture. ANA has a membership of less than 10% of the 2.6 million nurses across the U.S. It's always been that way. Why is it that 200,000 members of ANA are responsible for YOUR STATE OF AFFAIRS? Bull. It's simple mathematics and some of the rest of the 2.4 million nurses need to quit laying on the blame on an easy target and not look at their own lack of involvement.

    TO the previous poster who believes it's not a lack of funds. Just who's funds are you talking about. You mean 200,000 nurses are going to speak for and fund 2.4 MILLION nurses who say NO to ANA? What a joke.

    You bemoan the deplorable state of nursing. FINE. You want the ANA dues money to speak for you, then pay up.


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    I read the postings here and take away a couple of things from it.
    First I can't help but wonder why the MNM generates controversy. The ideals are that as a group, nurses have the ability to impact what happens not only in our career field, but in healthcare delivery at large. However this is not going to happen if we do not work together to make it happen. That means the various diverse voices in nursing needs to be able to put aside the animosity towards one another that has been generated over years. We have to be able to see that type of behavior is counter productive to us. I do not understand why it is difficult to imagine that a group of bedside working nurses can make a difference if we simply step out of the apathy we have allowed ourselves to be immersed in. Tim, I do not understand, and perhaps will not understand your animosity for what we are trying to do here. We are not trying to set up more animosity of ANA vs. anyone else. We are asking the varied groups that exist out there, not only the ANA but other groups with nurses in their ranks to come together for a change and pool the various resources each has to affect the changes we all know are needed. Tell me why it you feel that this is not a worthwhile endeavor. Tim, nurses are not angels or nuns, we are human beings that deserve to be treated as such. That does not negate what we do day after day, it does not negate the caring and compassion that we give to our patients, and I don't believe that demanding to be treated like decent human beings that have lives and responsiblities outside of nursing is going to make the public think less of us. It is their care that is being poorly affected by what is happening here, it does not affect nursing alone. The sarcasm that drips from posts that refer to bra burning is offensive. Do you not think that we are able to present ourselves as intelligent thinking people that understand the dynamics that is affecting our career field and our ability to care for our patients? How disturbing it is to read a post that refers to what we are doing as insanity, and equating nurses who will demand that we have a say in how we are able to do our jobs with head shavers(subtle way of saying bigots) bra burners(obviously radical feminists) and spray painting banner wavers(read anarchists here) It is often too easy to label those that do not share your views as something that is reprehensible to others. Why is it that there are those that must see this as something that pits us against the ANA? From the National League of Nurses website I found statistics that note the ANA has 180,000 members, this is out of 2.6 million RNs. How many members the California Nurses Association has I don't know, but I do now they are the largest nurses union out there. They are no longer affilated with the ANA, should we negate their iniatives because they are not any longer affliated with the ANA? Do we continue to split ourselves in our own little groups hunkered down against one another? If we do we have to ask ourselves why and what benefit is it to do so? Tim I appreciate your passion in regards to the ANA, but that is not the passion that most nurses feel, if they did they would join the ANA. Each nurse that does not belong to the ANA have their own reasons for that, and it does not enhance any kind of reaching out to degrade and be sarcastic towards those that do not hold your view. If your attitude is any kind of indication as to what I would get if I opted to belong to the ANA than I definately say no thank you. However, I believe that the majority of nurses, particularly the leaders within the ANA, are able to display more professionalism than that. Therefore I do not take you as representative of the association and hope that others will not either.
    Wildtime, I have difficulty with the idea that you think we are going to beg for crumbs. We are going to demand that changes take place, the wording that is used is not radical in the information piece. Perhaps that is where the misunderstanding is? It is important that we are seen as a group that is willing to tackle the large issues that we all whisper about but heaven forbid we talk about in public. That might shatter the image of nurses as silent, compliant beings that are selfless and giving at all times, the image of nurses as angels that Tim thinks we should perpetuate. I can't speak for others here, but I have a family, I have a church that I am active with, and I have a life outside of nursing. I do not have to submerge my very soul in nursing to be a good nurse. It has to be noted that if the MNM comes out as very radical than we will lose not only many nurses, but we will lose in public. There is a balance there that has to be attained. Something very do-able. I would welcome thoughts from you wildtime as to what it is exactly that you feel is appropriate for nurses to do. You state we do not have to beg, what I do not see is your ideas as to what to do.
    The federal government has given us a balanced budget act that has impacted on funding deeply, they have disallowed our citizens to have any recourse in court for inappropriate care by their HMOs or insurance companies, people who are in essence practicing without a license to do so. The government has encouraged the use of HMOs and put business practices into place that have allowed them to grow and profit, while nurses suffered silently, and patients died as a result. You bet the government needs to hear the result of what they have wrought, and with senate subcommittees looking into the nursing shortage, and big name powerful senaters taking an interest in what is going on here, we had better open up our mouths this time around. Do not believe that there will not be some sort of legislation that will affect us, they know as well as we know, that nurses are the bedrock on which healthcare rests, and without us healthcare ceases to exist. If we allow that legislation to go into effect without demanding that this time around they listen to us, then we get what we deserve. Think about your American history here. Major social changes in this country have come about through ordinary citizens that utilized the democracy that our forefathers gave us to demand changes. Child labor laws, women voting, civil rights, equal rights are just a few examples. The social upheavels in the early 1900's with labor laws, womans sufferage etc... took ordinary people demostrating against unfair practices that harmed the society as a whole. Close your eyes and recall the pictures I am sure that the majority of us have been exposed to from common laborers demanding humane working conditions in the early 1900s, put that with the pictures of 9 year old children in sweat shop conditions and know what those demonstratins were all about. Recall the pictures of Martin Luther King on the Mall in Washington and the crowds of people that were there, and know that this man had the eleqonce to move a nation. And understand that the progress that these events made could not have been done without the intervention of the federal government. It took the intervention of the federal government to stop the lynching of blacks in the deep south. It was the threat of the federal government that brought local government into line, to stop not only local government, but local law enforcement from not only looking the other way, but actively participating in the horrendous things that we taking place at that time frame. And understand that our system of government is only as good as the people you put there. And only as good as you demand from them. If the federal government becomes the big bad bogey man it is because the American people allowed it to happen, and each of you are part of the American people.
    I know that everything I have said here is not going to be agreed with, and least likely by those that feel very opposed to the idea that we have the choice of taking control over what happens to us by virtue of demanding what is right. It would be foolish of me to believe that I will change minds that have closed to this idea. But I hope to reach others that are open. We have the ability to do much if we simply choose to.
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    One more thing, in another posting by wildtime it is noted that an email was sent to the million nurse march organization, if I understand that correctly it is an email of a posting that wildtime put here. That was not received by the board of the MNM. At least I did not receive an email and I am part of the board. And I definately invite wildtime to share what that they envision as what nurses should be doing, and in what manner we should demand what we need. I would like to hear the specifics.
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    First of all wildtime...what are you doing to educate those in power as to the role of the nurse? Many nurses don't even know the role of the nurse is-- how do you expect people with business degrees to? Besides, my comment was American Government, not ancient history. In the days of the settlers, where there was no organized government, toilet papering the trees and dumping tea into the water was the way to go. The political agenda and resulting laws in this country influenced by political lobbiests. If nurses don't have a strong lobby in Washington--FORGET IT, WE'RE FINISHED!!!!

    This is going to sound crass, but oh well [I guess I have that reputation, anyway], if the 'ranks' as you call them want adequate representation, I agree 100% with Natalie... cough up the money to belong to your state nurses association. It's as simple as that. That's like proposing that someone who is a Canadian citizen should be allowed to vote how tax dollars are spent in Georgia! Become a citizen, and have a say.

    As for you, RNCOUNTRY- you were being led by a mailman a few posts ago- and then when I tried to intelligibly defend myself against his slanderous comments, you added to the insults, therefore-you have no credit in my book. And if you find comments about 'bra burning offensive' grow up my dear- I am neither racist nor a bigot- and the mere contention is an insult. History clearly documents demonstrations in which bra burning was done. I mentioned it to illustrate the same point here... WHAT WILL IT DO?

    Insofar as the general public- yes, they do look toward nurses as icons of mercy and comfort... ANA, MNM, or no other organization will change that. Like it or not, it's our heritage. Because despite all of our diagreements, struggles over staffing, fights amongst ourselves, arguments over ADN, BSN, MSN, Ph.D., it all goes back to what an old woman said to me when I finished cleaning her up from a bout of fecal incontinence... "you're a nice nurse." Who will be that nice nurse in the future? I sure as hell will.

    Bon Mantinan


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