What's ANA been doing for NURSES lately?? - page 2

what else has ana been doing???? look here: nurse leaders take action on range of workplace and patient care issues at ana's house of delegates 7/11/03 nurse leaders representing the american... Read More

  1. by   NicuNsg
    Originally posted by -jt
    Im a staff RN working f/t at the bedside in an urban ICU. Im also an active ANA member. And I can tell you there are a lot of staff RN ANA members just like me, working hard in that organization, getting it to where we all know it should have been many years ago. And we're doing it. ANA's job is in Washington DC. If you want to know how the organization is working for RNs, read its government affairs page on its website. Also look at the studies it has done on workplace conditions, and RN staffing & its impact on patient care. Those studies give credence to our arguments and support the rationale for getting the laws we staff RNs need passed. Im so tired of hearing complaints about how much WE are not doing for everybody else who is isnt lifting a finger to help.


    You go -jt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. by   fergus51
    I don't believe forced membership will increase nurses' participation in anything. There will always be a large number of us who prefer to rant and complain then to get involved (for whatever reason). I came from a province where union membership is mandatory and the union was VERY politically active. Still, I had so many coworkers who would complain and complain about the union, but never once did any of them try to get involved at any level. Commitment and action can't be mandatory. I do think it's a little unfair to criticize the ANA for not doing enough when more than 90% of us do not support them in any way.
  3. by   jnette
    I'll have to say I agree, Fergus, because I don't like to HAVE to do things, either.. I DO like to have my chioces. I was hoping this wouldn't be taken as I think it SHOULD be this way.. rather just a wild card I threw out there.. something I was thinking about.. wondering IF it would make ppl more motivated... but perhaps not, like you say.
  4. by   ainz
    Current membership in ANA is a reflection of its effectiveness. If something does not work for you, people generally tend not to repeat it. True they cannot accurately represent us nor have the funding to do so if 90% of us are not members. However, it has not always been this way. When I first got out of school I joined, it is expensive. What did I get for my money--nothing tangible that had any meaning to me, except more direct mailings asking for more money.

    As I browse and read the ANA website, I see lots of stuff, lots of things they are doing and working on and looking at etc, etc. Lots of things they support, lots of position papers, lots of support of legislators who are introducing bills, etc., etc. What I do not see are reports of actual results of initiatives that have meaning to nursing now.

    If the ANA has been advocating for us for over 100 years, then why are we in the shape we are today-----bottom line!!

    By the way, I am in the process of joining again and will soon be a member, again. I am tired of sitting back and doing nothing and watching my profession go down the tubes.
  5. by   roxannekkb
    That is a provocative thought, if all nurses were members--would it increase the clout of the ANA? Of course, then the ANA would have to be aggressive, such as demanding an end to all mandatory overtime--not just writing a 'position" paper which has no power. And if it didn't happen, then all nurses would strike? Sounds interesting.

    On the other hand, when I worked in Northern CA, I had to join the CNA in order to work per diem at Kaiser. And most of the nurses there were as about as active as wet noodles. They didn't care, didn't attend union meetings, just didn't care.
  6. by   glascow
    jnette,
    I like your idea. Of course, nobody likes to be forced to do anything. All we have to do is die and pay taxes. Wait, you don't really have to pay taxes, but lets look at the result, PRISON.
    The way I feel about the subject of ANA is similar to the government. If you don't vote, then you shouldn't complain.
    Same with ANA, if you aren't a member, how can you criticize?
    In order to vote for ANA reps you have to be a member of the organization. A organization represents its members, and ANA officers are voted in by ANA members.
    Our government represents its citizens. Does that mean I agree with everything, no. But since it is the voice that is representing me, I think it is important to stay involved and VOTE in officers that share my views.
    While ANA says it represents all RNs, the only voices being heard are the voting members who elect their officers and lobby for the changes the would like.
    Majority of members are probably hospital administrators and nursing educators. If bedside nurses became the majority of members than we would be the loudest united voice for RNs.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    I know a couple former "wet noodles".
    One found she had not gotten her pay raise or OT in a looong time.
    HR denied her request so she filed a grievance and won $$$. Now she attends meetings and expresses her opinions.

    The other was being dogged by a manager, written up for trivial things and then suspended for a rude remark. There was no date, shift, or quote. At her grievance meeting the manager began shaking, knocked over a chair, and said, "You look just like the woman my husband cheated on me with!".

    The solution was a transfer to another unit. She was and still is an excellent nurse who has begun to have a say in her practice. Without CNA she would have had a 'ding' on her record.

    When a contract is being negotiated the RNs at the table listen to the nurses they represent. Most who attend meetings want mandatory membership. Then even the 'noodles' pay for what they may need.
  8. by   -jt
    Excuse me, but contrary to the apparent misconception here, the ANA is not just writing position papers on issues. WE, the nurses in the ANA, are actually writing the LAWS on those issues that we have taken a position on.

    The Quality Care/Safe Staffing Act was written by nurses of the New York State Nurses Association (an ANA constituent member), was introduced to Congress by NY Senator Hillary Clinton and the Senator from Ohio, and is being supported and strongly lobbied for by the ANA and its members. When passed, it will abolish mandatory ot with zero-tolerance for it, provide for safe nurse staffing, improve workplace conditions, provide nation-wide whislteblower protection for RNs, and require hospitals to make public its nurse staffing ratios on a daily basis (so they then must compete with each other in their marketing for pts who will go where the best ratios are), among many other things. The financial incentive for compliance would be the potential for loss of government reimbursements if non-compliant.

    The Nurse Reinvestment Act, which was developed at the urging of the ANA and written with its help, was signed into law by President Bush after a year of massive lobbying by the ANA. It provides financial incentives for facilities to improve workplace conditions for the staff RN, based on the criteria of the Magnet Award program - improved salaries and benefits, autonomy for staff nurses in their practice, staff nurses involved in every aspect of decision-making in the facility, etc. (see the ANCC website for more on the Magnet program criteria & how it helps the staff RN).
    That new law makes it worth the hospital's while to improve the working environment for nurses. That is first and foremost because without improving the workplace first, no recruiting measures will ever work. The law also provides financial incentives for the establishment of effective career ladders for RNs in the workplace, provides grants and loan forgiveness for current nurses to return to school, provides scholarships and loan repayment for new students to enter into nursing, provides loan forgiveness for RNs willing to become nurse educators or geriatric practitioners. The Nurse Reinvestment Act was written by & lobbied for by the nurses of the ANA, as was its companion bill, The Nurse Education Loan Program for RNs.

    Besides that, the changes to the current immigration laws that Congress tried to pass thru so hospitals could have unlimited recruiting from overseas was stopped dead in its tracks by the nurses of the ANA. WE tesitified that unlimited recruiting would do nothing to correct the problems that are driving RNs away from the bedside and would just allow our employers to ignore the reasons why we dont want to work for them anymore. WE stopped that bill from going thru & put a stop to our employers being able to take the easy way out of the nurse staffing crisis that they manufactured.

    We have stopped the medical community from getting laws changed in their attempt to bypass the need for RNs and obtain new categories of expanded-practice UAPs that would replace nurses. We have prevented other law changes that would have given over some of our responsibilities to pharmacists and EMTs too. We are determined to stop any attempt to "solve" the bedside nursing shortage with anything other than repairing the administrative mistakes that are causing it.

    Almost every safe staffing legislation, mandatory ot ban, workplace initiative, and whistleblower protection bill that is currently in legislation in just about every state has been written and lobbied for with the help of ANA nurses in those states.

    I dont know what it is exactly that people think we arent addressing. Maybe cause they arent in it, they dont see what is being done. And of course it isnt getting done fast enough. Thats the most frustrating part - but its not for lack of trying. We're like David against Goliath - Goliath being the got-big-bucks-to-spend-on-lobbying American Medical Assoc, the American Hosiptal Assoc, and every other non-nurse organization that stands to reap the benefits if nursing is removed from the equation. And fighting against all those groups and all their money, is just us 180,000 RNs out of the 2.7 million in the nation.

    This year, at the urging of staff RNs, we restructured the ANA to better meet the needs of nurses in this country and to make it more accessible for nurses to become involved in. Its not enough to just join your national professional association and be a member. You have to be actively involved. Volunteer on one of the committees and help do the work you want done. Be a delegate. Vote.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 25, '03
  9. by   ainz
    OK -jt.

    I don't want to beat this thing to death. You have shared information that is new to me, thanks for doing that. You are correct about the David and Goliath thing, 180,000 nurses out of 2.7 million is only 6.7%.

    I read your post in another thread about ANA. I have been beating up on ANA regularly. I can't put my finger on it exactly and state it concisely, but something has been (in the past) very wrong here. Again, why has membership in our professional association dropped off to almost nothing? Why is nursing in the shape it is today if we have such an active association that is doing all of these wonderful things for us?

    They haven't been doing much, in the past. Again, many things are being worked on, many things are in the works, many things are being considered, new bylaws have been written, the organizaiton has been restructured---where are the concrete, tangible, take-it-to-the-bank results that the "average" working staff nurse can see, appreciate, relate to, understand, etc., etc.??

    ANA has had over 100 years to figure out what works and what doesn't. How long does it take???

    Time for new leadership. Time for all nurses to join and change the face and substance of the ANA. Good to hear ANA has been able to stop some laws. Good to hear ANA has been writing legislation to be introduced and lobbying for it. Good!!!

    The quality care/safe staffing act has a snowball's chance.

    The Nurse Reinvestment Act was funded with only $20 million (is this correct? I believe I recall reading this amount??) Only a drop in the bucket, will remain ineffective, HOWEVER, it is progress because something supported, co-authored, and lobbied for by the ANA actually made it into law. That is progress and a strong thank you to the ANA for their successful efforts here!!! But $20 million is not enough to provide any incentives worth looking at. Does the ANA realize how much money for-profit hospitals are making in clear profit????

    Financial incentives, whether it will give something or has the power to take something away, is the only way to get these people's attention.
  10. by   -jt
    <Again, why has membership in our professional association dropped off >

    I dont know. Its a phenomenon that is plaguing the specialty nursing organizations too - as well as the AMA. Theyre all talking about it. In fact the AMA had an article about their drop in membership some time ago. I cant recall which issue. Maybe if you did a search on their website you might be able to find it. About the Nurse reinvestment Act - the President passed it into law and then CONGRESS funded it for only $20 million. The ANA had written it for $250 million in funding. Congress didnt even give us 10% of what it was supposed to be. But its not done yet. We are still lobbying for the increase. (after all, we have millions to give to every other country in the world and $60 million set aside to pay off the bounty hunters that lead us to where to find Saddam & his sons - and $30 million of that is already spent as of this week - but thats another thread).

    As for the concrete, tangible, take-it-to-the-bank results that the average working staff nurse can see, appreciate, relate to, understand, I would consider the fact that my employer cant just leave our RN positions vacant and hand off the job to expanded UAPS and pharmacists, or go to the Phillipines for an unlimited number of foreign recruits, and will instead have to look for ways to improve the workplace and make it more attractive to local nurses so they will want to work there is pretty concrete and tangible to start and something I can appreciate.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 26, '03
  11. by   fergus51
    This is a very chicken and the egg argument. I wonder what ANA membership was at its peak? If the numbers have always been low, then I hardly think they can be blamed for the state of nursing today. The question I would ask, is what have individual nurses been doing to improve the state of nursing? We all have to take our share of the blame, rather than just passing it off on the ANA. Like a wise poster says we only get as much crap as we will take.
  12. by   ainz
    Your point is well-taken -jt. Those are tangible results!!

    Sorry if I have gone on and on, just really frustrated with the ANA, it is almost out of my system

    Of course we are asking what have individual nurses been doing to improve the state of nursing. The profession, the ANA, all are made up of individuals. In the 1950s approx 55% of nurses we members of the ANA.

    I suppose, as is in most things, there are a few that are interested in leading the masses. The "masses" want to depend on the few to look out for their interests. I don't know. Why do only 20% or so of Americans vote? Perhaps most nurses just aren't angry enough yet or would rather find something else to do than to put up with all of the crap that goes with being a nurse.

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