Karen, I found the info interesting, but this does not answer the question I posed.
If the ANA can approve of their very own nursing union, then why have they not put forth the same effort in trying to organize and rally nurses nationally using the same union tactics? Do nurses truly have to belong to a formal labor union to use the same tactics? Do they have to pay dues in order to be lead?
The California Nurses association in many ways does not think so. They have rallied nonunion and union nurses into protesting.
Is the main reason for the appearance of labor unions in nursing a direct result and an alternative of the poor leadership of the ANA of the past and present?
I did like you analogy of leading a horse. Here is something to think about in that context. What if the horse does not want to go in the direction it is being lead. What if the horse wants to go somewhere else which it sees as better. No one wants to drink stale or dirty water. Some do not want to be lead a hundred miles out of the way either.
I personally look at the ANA as an organization which has in so many ways become two faced.
They control a labor union and receive money from that organization, but they have not actively tried to rally nonunionized nurses into using the same tactics as they approve of with respect to the union they over see. They claim to speak for all nurses yet they actively make differences that are apparent as the proof previously mentioned. Now when someone claims to speak for someone else, for some reason I believe they mean represent them and lead them as well. As we can all see this has not been the case. Yet it seems that it has been very unequal. This is pretty much the way things have been in the past when they were focused on the NPs and others and ignored the concerns of the bedside nurses.
So I ask again, why has the ANA not tried to rally all nurses both nonunion and union alike into a national protest using the same tactics it support as head of the United Nurses Association? Do we really have to join a formal labor union and pay dues to be united as nurses and use the same type of tactics to say NO MORE?
A good national nurses association with good leadership could lead us all in a unified national simultaneous movement in which we could take charge and gain control of our own profession. A good national organization dedicated to all nurses would not make any distinction between nonunionized and unionized nurses. Under these definitions the ANA would not be considered a good national leader for nurses. It would not even be considered an organization who speaks for or represents all nurses.
All this being said and the blatant segregation apparent, then why would I want to support of even participate in such an organization, let alone help support them financially? If the best response to this is because it is the only national organization that we have, then would it not be better to find a replacement and cut the money supply to this one so it will die?
The low participation and membership by other nurses including myself is not a myth, it is a statement of fact. There are reasons for it. I for one do not see the ANA as a national leader and I am willing to bet that the majority of 93% of nurses across the U.S. do not as well. In fact, this is the reason some state nursing associations have broken away from the ANA all together.
Here is part of another post on a different topic and hold so true with the question and confusion I have:
<A lot of us know that in reality it is our own fault for allowing it to get this bad and even continue to get worse. We could have stopped this as a group many years ago. Sorry guys, but I wish we had a national organization with the guts and muscle to lead us into taking control of our own profession. Instead the only one we have chose to run to Washington for help basically saying that we were not able to fix our own problems, let alone take charge and control our own profession. Someone basically pulled out the dusty old manual titled what to do in a nursing shortage which has been around for a century and used every 10 or so years and followed the same old steps that did not actually fix the problems then and will not fix them today. They have succeeded in getting legislation started to throw money into nursing school
, increase visa limits, which incidentally were lowered just 6 or 7 years ago, but not a whole hell of a lot more. They succeeded in opening the door for the hospital association to step in and run with the ball on that one. I am sure the nurses who work for and around the Cleveland Institute are very grateful for that. I am sure there will be many of us before it is over with that will be grateful as well.
Well anyway that is already been set into motion and it seems like the nursing leadership, and I use that word loosely, is content to let it continue. I have yet to see a call from them for a national protest which actually would hit home saying we are not going to allow it. Has anyone else? But on a side note they did raise their membership dues and I am sure that each state under their control will follow and not just to cover their increase either. Nurses at the bedside, for the most part, have not gotten any substantial raises in the last 6 to 8 years, our out of pocket expenses have continued to rise as well. So I do not want to hear about how much money it is costing to send out this or that or anything else. I am sure that no one near the top of the organization is staying at Motel 6 when they travel to this or that. Do you?
Anyway enough said about that. Now, would it not be great if we did have a national organization who would lead us and rally us all together to say NO MORE!, from now on we are going to be in charge of out own practices and profession. We are going to set the rules under which we practice under. This includes staffing ratios, including ancillary and support services. This also includes the paper work which is filled out as well as the initial evaluations and assessments for other departments such as dietary, social services, case management, physical therapy and the like. They will have to actually come to the bedside to see the patient and do their own initial evaluations and assessments. Customer service is not a nursing function so if you want to promote the atmosphere of the Ritz then you will have to hire non-nursing personnel to do it. And one more thing, you pay other companies for nursing time so now you will have to find a way to pay us what we are actually worth and if that mean you personally take home a million or two less each year in pay, bonuses, or benefits, then too bad. We will not feel bad if you have to give up your luxury car for a mid sized chevy or start sending you kids to public school with ours.
How nice would that be. How many changes do you think we could make for the better? How long do you think it would be before we could say to someone without hesitation thinking about coming into nursing that it truly would be a great choice as a career and profession? >
Do not forget this all comes from my original question and maybe a reasonable answer to that might allow me to understand.