nurses united ?

  1. I would like to know how others feel about ALL nurses joining the ANA to have a united voice in goverment, to increase our lobbying power?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   -jt
    You can do a search on that here. There are many posts on the subject. The question has been asked a few times & there were alot of opinions you can read. Also, go to the menu bar below & click on Nursing Activism/Politics for more info.
  4. by   fedupnurse
    Depends. If you are in a staff level position, the ANA, in my opinion, really doesn't represent our interests. Most of the higher ups on the ANA board are executives and are pushing thru their agenda's. Also, the cost for joining is steep for someone on a staff nurse salary. I'd follow -jt's advice and check it out before I forked over any money.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    The ANA does not support the bedside working nurse anymore. Why waste the $$$$$$.
  6. by   -jt
    Sorry guys - I have to disagree that it doesnt support our issues.

    Im a staff nurse & an active member & Ive been involved in ANA efforts specifically advocating for staff nurse issues. You can see exactly what its (we're) doing about fighting for national laws abolishing mandatory ot, setting safe staffing levels, establishing recruitment & retention initiatives, etc. by perusing the governmental affairs page at www.ana.org

    It was the efforts of the nurses of the ANA that got Congress to assemble a Senate hearing on the shortage of nurses who are willing to work at the bedside, the reasons why they wont, and the solutions to rectify that. Some of ANA RN testimonies made to Congress can be read on the Congressional Testimonies page at that site. The testimony delivered by Ann OSullivan, RN (a nurse executive member of ANA who spoke about how workplace conditions must be corrected first or nothing else will make a difference) was particularly right on the money. As was the testimony of Sandra McMeams, a staff RN ANA member at a VA hospital.

    The testimonies and other efforts have resulted in the legislators becoming educated about the situation & giving wide sponsorship & support for the Nurse Recruitment-Quality Care Act, the Safe Patient Care Act, The Patient Safety Act, the Nurse Reinvestment Act - all of which directly relate to the workplace issues of the staff nurse, including safe staffing, and zero tolerance for mandatory ot - & are now bills in Congress going thru the process to become national law. And the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program that has already been passed.

    Its been the efforts of ANA State Associations that have gotten state legislatures to pass state laws restricting or banning mandatory OT in at least 5 states already - with more going thru the process in other states - & the safe staffing bills that are in the works of at least a dozen other states.

    One example: the ANA's New Jersey State Nurses Association was a major force & instrumental in fighting for & obtaining passage of the law that now bans mandatory OT in that state. That law didnt just happen by itself.

    Anyway, all the info is at that website & this debate is in a ton of other threads here already. Lots of opinions to look thru if you have the time.
    Last edit by -jt on May 26, '02
  7. by   fergus51
    If people want the ANA to support staff nurses more than they currently do, there is a way to change things.... I'll give you a hint....it involves joining and becoming active!!!

    I am not a member because I don't work in the US anymore, but will be again when I move back...
  8. by   Jenny P
    To belong to the ANA you must be a member of your state nursing association which is the constituent memeber of the ANA. I firmly believe that if your state association is heavily laden with managers and administrators, then your opinion of ANA is probably that it has forgotten the beside nurse.My state, in contrast, is full of staff nurses and our state Board of Directors of MNA has 9 of 12 positions filled by staff nurses.

    JT has some very good points in her comments; I could go on with what ANA has done for me for hours. I am a staff nurse and love it; I am part of a union that my Nursing association represents. I am active in all 3 levels of ANA -the District, the state, and have been a delegate to ANA for a number of years. My voice makes a difference because I am active and I do volunteer and I do speak up.

    I firmly believe that if every RN (bedside or educator or administrator or whatever) belonged to the ANA; we could be the most powerful and influential health care group in this country. The fact that so many RNs bash ANA and try to destroy or dismiss what it does is not helping nursings' image at all.
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    JT's response is thorough not much more to add. Combined with Jenny P's statement, the responses speak of what the ANA is actively doing on a a FEDERAL level---that is it's purpose. The individual state/constituent associations act on behalf of STATEWIDE activities.

    To those of us active in ANA, we know that an organization is only as strong as the MEMBERS THAT PARTICIPATE. WE are the ANA....not some faces and names in Washington DC headquarters. There is less than 5 % participation of bedside nurses in my state association anymore. Why??? Because its the " let someone else do it, I'm busy with work and family life" mentality.

    Do you think that the doctors of this country via AMA have the clot they do because l0% of all docs are members ( as historically benn nurses participation in ANA), or is it because OVER 85% OF ALL DOCTORS ARE AMA MEMBERS (down from over 90% few years ago)???

    We are shooting ourselves in the foot by us not banding together. I've been a member for 20 years this year as a staff nurse because I WANT A SAY IN MY PROFESSION. I WANT TO DETERMINE MY FUTURE, not some nameless buracrat who has no idea of the effects of legislation both locally and nationally. Who should determine the shape of our practice within each state....nurse's that 's who through our State boards of nursing and state associations.

    I am actively informed via PA's nursing listserve e-mails of all assaults on our practice via legislation proposed or SBON proposed rules therby giving me the ability to raise objections to restrictions on my right to practice (there have been several attempts by the State Board of Medicine to control PA nursing in the last 6 years).

    For those not up-to-date re current ANA activity check out:
    Who we are
    http://nursingworld.org/about/index.htm

    What we do
    ANA Makes a Difference: Benefits of Membership
    http://nursingworld.org/member2.htm

    What Has ANA Done for me Lately?
    http://nursingworld.org/about/lately/ceohome.htm


    Also see American Nurses Association: Selected Testimony ---few topics posted below.
    Full testimony can be found at
    http://nursingworld.org/gova/federal...imon/index.htm

    SUBJECT: Improving Patient Safety
    DATE: March 7, 2002
    BEFORE: Committee on Ways And Means Subcommittee on Health
    BY: Mary E. Foley, MS, RN

    SUBJECT: The Nursing Shortage
    DATE: September 11, 2001
    BEFORE: Committee On Education And Workforce
    BY: Mary E. Foley, MS, RN

    SUBJECT: Privacy and Confidentiality
    DATE: August 22, 2001
    BEFORE: National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, Subcommittee on Privacy and Confidentiality
    BY: Mary E. Foley, MS, RN

    SUBJECT: Authorizing Safety Net Public Health Programs: Nursing Shortages
    DATE: August 1, 2001
    BEFORE: Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health
    BY: Diana Baker, RN, BSN

    SUBJECT: Finding a Cure to Keep Nurses on the Job
    DATE: June 27, 2001
    BEFORE: Committee on Governmental Affairs Subcommitte on Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring, and the District of Columbia
    BY: Anne O'Sullivan, MSN, RN

    SUBJECT: Looming Nurse Shortage: Impact on the Department of Veterans Affairs
    DATE: June 14, 2001
    BEFORE: Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs
    BY: American Nurses Association

    SUBJECT: Addressing Direct Care Staffing Shortages
    DATE: May 17, 2001
    BEFORE: Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    BY: American Nurses Association

    SUBJECT: Nurse Education and Practice
    DATE: April 26, 2001
    BEFORE: National Advisory Council
    BY: Pamela C. Hagan, MSN, RN

    SUBJECT: Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 Appropriations for Nursing Education, Nursing Research and Workforce Programs
    DATE: March 22, 2001
    BEFORE: Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies - Committee on Appropriations
    BY: Patricia W. Underwood, PhD, RN

    SUBJECT: Assessing HIPAA: How Federal Medical Record Privacy Regulations Can Be Improved
    DATE: March 22, 2001
    BEFORE: Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health
    BY: Mary E. Foley, MS, RN

    SUBJECT: Nursing Shortage and Its Impact on America's Health Care Delivery System
    DATE: February 13, 2001
    BEFORE: The Subcommittee on Aging Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    BY: Kathryn Hall, MS, RN, CNAA

    SUBJECT: OSHA's Proposed Ergonomics Standard
    DATE:July 13, 2000
    BEFORE: The Subcommittee on Employment, Safety, and Training, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
    BY: Karen A. Worthington, MS, RN, COHN-S

    SUBJECT: Needlestick Injuries
    DATE:June 22, 2000
    BEFORE:The Subcommitte on Workforce Protections Committee on Education and the Workforce
    BY: Karen Daley, MPN, RN, President Massachusetts Nurses Association

    SUBJECT: Medical Errors
    DATE: Jan. 26, 2000
    BEFORE: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 28, '02
  10. by   catlady
    Sorry, but I agree with Nancy. My state nurses' association is not a bargaining unit. It's an ivory tower organization. They send out a newsletter to nurses who don't belong (I guess it's supposed to make you yearn for what you're missing), and all I read are white-coat nurses talking to each other.

    I don't see any difference with or without those laws that JT says the ANA got enacted. To eliminate mandatory overtime, you refuse to work in a facility that mandates. Who needs a law for that? What's happened under the ANA's watch is that nursing has gotten harder, more stressful, and less desirable as a profession, and they want over $200 a year in dues so they can work on the problems they did nothing to prevent. Where was the ANA a few years ago when there *wasn't* a nursing shortage, to protect our profession and our jobs? Not to mention they still want to take my license away because I don't have a BSN. They don't have the clout of the AMA because they don't know how to use what they've got, and they're still pushing a liberal soccer-mom agenda. It'll be a cold, cold day when I join.
  11. by   LasVegasRN
    Have to agree with catlady on this one....
  12. by   -jt
    <We are shooting ourselves in the foot by us not banding together. I've been a member for 20 years this year as a staff nurse because I WANT A SAY IN MY PROFESSION. I WANT TO DETERMINE MY FUTURE, not some nameless buracrat who has no idea of the effects of legislation both locally and nationally. Who should determine the shape of our practice within each state....nurse's that 's who through our State boards of nursing and state associations.>

    Of the 34,000 members in my state nurses assoc, more than 30,000 are direct-pt care nurses - working staff nurses. Its main focus then is on staff nurses, but not to the exclusion of the other members, and that is how it should be. I think people dont realize that it is the ANA (these nurses from their state associations) that fights in DC to stop other groups from controlling the nursing profession & making decisions for it. In the last shortage, the American Medical Assoc. tried to eliminate the need for nurses by pushing the lawmakers to create a new national category of LICENSED workers to replace us - called REGISTERED Patient Care Techs - which were to answer directly to the MD. The hospitals were ready to pounce on that because they could then get rid of all nurses except for one to be in charge, staff the place with the much less expensive RPCTs & still have "licensed personnel" while saving big bucks in the process. It was the nurses of the ANA that prevented this from happening. Had the docs & hospitals succeeded, there would be no bedside nursing profession today.

    For years, the leadership of the ANA was not as responsive to the needs of the staff nurse as it should have been. That changed when more staff nurses became active members with their state associations & demanded it. The old guard was thrown out & the ANA's direction was changed by staff nurses to focus more on staff nurses & our issues. Staff nurses took charge, changed the course of the organization, & made the difference. And still are. More changes are in the works.

    It would be nice if people who only knew the ANA as it once was would update themselves to see what we have done with it. The last few years have been quite different than what the ANA was like in the past &, as a staff RN, Im proud to be a part of it.

    There are a lot of erroneous misconceptions about the ANA among those not involved - like the mistaken notion that it wants to take away licenses.

    Another misconception is that we dont need laws to protect our practice & our licenses, & we dont need to be the ones writing them, and that to avoid mandatory ot, all we have to do is not work in a hospital that utilizes it. In case anyone hasnt noticed, almost EVERY hospital in the country is utilizing mandatory OT - its all over the news. Its the latest national trend - except in states where the ANA state nurses associations led the charge writing & passing laws to ban it.

    If every hospital in your city is using mandatory ot instead of making improvements to attract more nurses, where are you going to work? You go thru your state association to fight for laws to prevent it there & and we all go thru the ANA to fight for it in Washington so it can apply to all facilities in all states & all nurses at once. We need those laws.

    We cant rely on job-hopping hoping to find one that does right by us. And we cant live with anybody else writing laws that govern our profession. How safe would it be to have policemen writing laws that dictate the practice of firemen? What do policemen know about the needs of the fireman in a burning building? Doesnt make sense does it?

    If we arent involved in writing laws that our profession has to live by, some other non-RN group will & what they write will be to their benefit - not ours - but will also control us & our profession(and they sure are trying even now) & we will suffer the consequences. It would be nice not to need laws for safe staffing & banning forced overtime, etc, but the reality is that there will be laws on these things one way or the other, so its in our own best interest to be the ones in there making them what we want & need them to be.

    The people who are actively involved in something will always have a different view of it than the people who are far removed.
    But for a fair opinion by those who are far removed, its best to go to the source, read up & get acquainted with what it actually really is.
  13. by   oramar
    I only belong to PASNAP because their retired nursing dues are only $25. It is time for me to send in my yearly dues and I am scratching around trying to find the money for that.
  14. by   catlady
    Originally posted by -jt
    There are a lot of erroneous misconceptions about the ANA among those not involved - like the mistaken notion that it wants to take away licenses.

    Another misconception is that we dont need laws to protect our practice & our licenses, & we dont need to be the ones writing them, and that to avoid mandatory ot, all we have to do is not work in a hospital that utilizes it. In case anyone hasnt noticed, almost EVERY hospital in the country is utilizing mandatory OT - its all over the news.
    Oh? It doesn't want to eliminate the diploma and ADN nurses? When did the position it's held for decades change?

    No, it is not true that almost every hospital in the country is using mandatory OT. I don't believe everything that's on the news. I am aware of *two* hospitals in my state that use mandatory overtime, both small facilities. There may be more, but I haven't heard about them. And yes, it takes *individuals* standing up for what is right by refusing to accept those terms.

    I will ask again--what did the ANA do all these years to prevent any of this from happening? As we all know as nurses, it's a lot easier to prevent a disease than it is to cure it. They're too little, too late. If you want to join, that's certainly your privilege and your prerogative. But I don't like it when those who are members look down upon those who are not as if we're getting some sort of free ride.

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