Is there a nursing  representative/lobbyist in washngton?? Is there a nursing representative/lobbyist in washngton?? | allnurses

Is there a nursing representative/lobbyist in washngton??

  1. 2 I am in my final pre-req. and plan on applying to RN program this fall. I am male, single and making a career change.

    Why do nurses (non-union states) allow the poor work environment, no breaks, no lunch, etc. situation to continue? Isn't there enough of us to do something about it? Has anyone contacted their state legislator, senator to propose a bill to mandate better working conditions for nurses? If it's a problem and detrimental to the patients health, shouldn't we speak up?

    Just my humble opinion.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. Visit  classicdame profile page
    #1 2
    I work in a non-union state and those conditions are not prevalent in my area. Remember, only about 12% of all American workers, of every type, are in a union. There are lobbyists paid by American Nurses Asso. on the national level and your local chapter will have state lobbyists. Maybe you need to research a little more before you make general statements.
  4. Visit  rholman profile page
    #2 1
    Funny you ask?

    A good friend of my is heading over to Washinging next month to lobby for nurses right. She is the union rep at her LTC and very much involved in the process.
  5. Visit  hellerd2003 profile page
    #3 2
    Quote from californiadreaming
    I am in my final pre-req. and plan on applying to RN program this fall. I am male, single and making a career change.

    Why do nurses (non-union states) allow the poor work environment, no breaks, no lunch, etc. situation to continue? Isn't there enough of us to do something about it? Has anyone contacted their state legislator, senator to propose a bill to mandate better working conditions for nurses? If it's a problem and detrimental to the patients health, shouldn't we speak up?

    Just my humble opinion.
    I'm not lobbying in Washington, but in a week I'll be lobbying at my state capitol. For free-- lobbyists in my state for nursing rights don't get paid; we get listened to and shot down. But still we persevere.

    I don't "allow" the poor work environments to continue; however, until state AND federal laws change, nurse working environments will be poor.

    Here's an idea. Instead of being critical of working nurses (who because of family, work schedules, student loans, workplace repercussions; cannot take time off from work to lobby), how about YOU as a student completing prerequisites work in a lobbist fashion and send letters to congressmen/ senators; attend rallys; etc.

    Fighting for change is hard, and as one in the "mix", this posting was offensive. I am doing all I can do, financially and professionally, and face ire from coworkers against my movement every time I'm at work.
    Last edit by hellerd2003 on Feb 26, '09 : Reason: clarification
  6. Visit  californiadreaming profile page
    #4 1
    I work in a non-union state and those conditions are not prevalent in my area. Remember, only about 12% of all American workers, of every type, are in a union. There are lobbyists paid by American Nurses Asso. on the national level and your local chapter will have state lobbyists. Maybe you need to research a little more before you make general statements.

    Did I offend you by my "general statements"? Please forgive me, I'm just a lowly student. Let me guess, you work in the NE?
  7. Visit  highlandlass1592 profile page
    #5 1
    Have you ever worked in a non-union state? Have you ever been told your job would be placed in jeopardy if you tried to vote a union in? Have you ever been told "nurses are a dime a dozen, if you don't like it, we'll find someone else to take the job???" Until you've walked in those shoes, maybe you shouldn't make general statements.

    There are nurses that strive every day to improve the lot of both nurses and patients. You need to do more research into what nurses are working towards. There are many PAC's from a nursing standpoint. Don't make general statements when it's clear you've not really done your homework as to the status of the current situation.
  8. Visit  californiadreaming profile page
    #6 0
    What general statements offended you? I'm sorry I touched a sore spot, but there is a problem as I see it, and perhaps it can be corrected....maybe not:

    NO LUNCH??? NO BREAKS??? Is that common in nursing?????
  9. Visit  highlandlass1592 profile page
    #7 1
    Quote from californiadreaming
    What general statements offended you? I'm sorry I touched a sore spot, but there is a problem as I see it, and perhaps it can be corrected....maybe not:

    NO LUNCH??? NO BREAKS??? Is that common in nursing?????
    I'm actually very disappointed in you. You say you aren't even a nurse yet you criticize nurses by saying they allow the environment many are forced to work in. Before you start to criticize a situation, it seems that you'd want to get all your facts straight. I've worked at many differing facilities that don't allow nurses a voice at all...when people's livelihood is threatened, they really aren't given many options as to how they can be advocates for change. By displaying the attitude you did, you are demeaning those nurses who can't make changes.

    Your comment "Has anyone contacted their state legislator, senator to propose a bill to mandate better working conditions for nurses? If it's a problem and detrimental to the patients health, shouldn't we speak up?" shows you really know nothing of the nurses who are in the trenches every day trying to impact the profession in a positive way, trying to improve working conditions, trying to be strong patient advocates working towards better staffing ratios. Look to what's going on in California. The state enacted safe staffing ratios and the hospital lobby which has a huge supply of cash has fought tooth and nail all the way to try to stop it..and even convinced the governor to make exceptions to the mandation of that law so hospitals don't have to recognize the law. Nursing lobbies don't have the amount of money hospital lobbies do to petition lawmakers to see that nursing and patient interests are really at the forefront.

    And while we're at it, when was the last time you heard the public acknowledge all that the nursing profession undergoes? The public image of nursing, perpetuated by the media, is one of people who AREN'T professionals, who answer only to doctors and are really only good for emptying bedpans. With the image of nursing being the one the public recognizes, how important do you think it will be with legislators to see that nursing is protected?

    You say there is a problem, as you see it. Ok, I ask you...if you plan on being a nurse, what are YOU going to do about the problem? Have you contacted the Center for Nursing Advocacy, are you aware of their campaigns to counteract the negative perceptions of nursing by the mainstream media?? Have you contacted your state nursing association to see what legislation they may be trying to get a hearing on? Have you joined the student nurses association in your area? Are you actively trying to educate the public, your family, your friends as to what nurses are really all about???????

    Yes change can take place...and is starts with you. Don't criticize us, join the battle for change. Make a difference.
  10. Visit  californiadreaming profile page
    #8 0
    And while we're at it, when was the last time you heard the public acknowledge all that the nursing profession undergoes? The public image of nursing, perpetuated by the media, is one of people who AREN'T professionals, who answer only to doctors and are really only good for emptying bedpans. With the image of nursing being the one the public recognizes, how important do you think it will be with legislators to see that nursing is protected?

    I don't understand your hostility. I only brought up the fact that so many of the posts/nurses COMPLAIN about the work environment. It's coming from within... not from the public.
  11. Visit  imalilteapott profile page
    #9 0
    I don't understand your hostility. I only brought up the fact that so many of the posts/nurses COMPLAIN about the work environment. It's coming from within... not from the public.[/quote]

    I can answer your question: The posters hostility comes from your ignorance and bad attitude combination. Its fine to ask the question but politely.You however asked in very negative demeaning way.
    To inform you ...yes there certainly are nurse lobbyists on the state and federal levels. Nursing organizations and other healthcare interest groups have lobbyist defending the nursing profession. The media and public view of nurses is a sad one. The public knows us for our caring and not for our knowledge. ( YOU my friend will learn in nursing school that it is A LOT of knowledge and you have to be VERY smart to not only pass school/boards/keep a job or to even get a job! ) The media shows nurses as a bedpan emptying big boobed females looking to marry a doctor. ( If there are even nurses on the show!!! When was the last time anyone has seen a doc starting an IV or a drip??)
    There are lots of nurses trying to change the nursing for the better and once you open your eyes and do some reading you will see there is a LOT of opposition for nurses to overcome (the negative images listed above, hospitals, MD's, the AMA, and sometimes even ourselves)
    My point again is there are lots and lots of nurses trying to make things better. In fact I am one of those nurses....I plan on getting my phD in HealthPolicy and it is my personal goal to change nursing for the better. I want to and hope to make our nursing organizations as big and powerful as the AMA so we can finally get the respect and the voice we deserve.
    Ok I think ive ranted enough today................:spbox:
  12. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    #10 0
    I work in Texas, and the majority of the nurses with whom I've worked are fiercely opposed to unionization. They'd rather go through the motions without any protection or improvement in working conditions. Many, if not most, of the nurses who work in Southern states would oppose union representation if offered to them right now. It is deeply ingrained in their working culture.

    I am originally from California and am shocked to see the lack of progressiveness in the workplace cultures around here.
  13. Visit  highlandlass1592 profile page
    #11 0
    It's very evident you don't understand..and for some reason, you aren't willing to comprehend what I'm telling you. You stated: "I only brought up the fact that so many of the posts/nurses COMPLAIN about the work environment. It's coming from within... not from the public." PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF THE PROFESSION AFFECTS EMPOWERMENT OF THE PROFESSION! If the public had a clearer understanding of what the nursing profession is all about, then nursing would be better empowered to deal with such issues as workplace environments. If the public finds an issue important, more power is held by those who want to change it because the public will offer support to that change agent. It's all related. But because the public doesn't value WHAT we do, they don't really care if a nurse goes 13 hours without a break..that staffing is such in many places nurses can't find adequate coverage for lunch times...that patient safety is an issue because of poor staffing, etc.

    I am not hostile but you clearly don't know what you're talking about. And your lack of knowledge is actually contributing to the problem. You speak in your first post that you aren't even in the nursing program yet, still working on pre-req's then you later post "Isn't there enough of us to do something about it?" I'm sorry you're not getting this...I really am. Maybe the problem is you haven't worked as a nurse yet...maybe you haven't seen what nursing is really like. You haven't even experienced the stress of the nursing program yet...but here you sit and read on a bulletin board about current issues in the nursing profession and feel you've got a great understanding of what's going on..when clearly you don't. Maybe you just need to walk a mile in my shoes to see what's going on. Don't post as if you have all the answers...your first post implied that the solution was so simple, you didn't understand why this problem was being allowed to continue. As if no one had ever considered trying to fix the problem.

    Nurses aren't ALLOWING this to happen, we are trying to change environments every day. But outside influences are a big factor in determine practicing..it's like that with any field in medicine. Don't think so? How come OB/GYN's have been nearly driven out of practice due to high malpractice insurance costs...that's an external factor. We WANT TO CHANGE THINGS...but can only do so much with the way the system is set up.

    Again, I challenge you not to just comment upon the problem but to get INVOLVED and become an agent for change. You say you want to join the profession, well welcome to the ranks. Come on board. Just don't criticize without getting involved. If, one day, after you complete your nursing program and become a nurse, you're going to see on a daily basis what I'm talking about. Why not start working now to influence the profession for change? Why wait?
  14. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    #12 0
    By the way, there's a nurse in the US Congress. Lois Capps has been an RN since 1968.

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