A question for the hardcore ANAers

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.

I've listened for a while now to the debate over to join or not to join. I even teetered back and forth in opinion, trying to decide whether to join or not. After reading several post about patients dying because of nursing errors d/t staffing shortages, I have a question..a simple question.

Your greatest defense for the ANA has been that only 6-7% of nurses belong. I'm sure the goal of the majority of the 6-7% of nurses belonging to the ANA is representative of the goal of the non-members as well. Unless I go in search of information, I hear or see nothing of the ANA. ANA, by far, has the loudest voice in nursing. In my state, I can't even find out what the membership fees are, much less what they have done for nursing thus far.

Right now is the prime time for the ANA to become very active and increase their membership, yet I do not see them. They should be in every TV camera available and be on every newsprint, but they aren't.

My question is this: Is it fair to the 6-7% who belong NOT to be strongly represented by the ANA and the excuse be "we don't have enough members"? If those were represented, then the rest of would probably be more inclined to pay our dues. Please don't give me the exhausting list of what they've done state to state. Why don't they represent nurses on the national level? We all have the same goals. Is it fair to the 6-7% who belong not to be strongly represented and the excuse be "we don't have enough members"? They should be in every TV camera available and be on every newsprint, but they aren't.

Specializes in CV-ICU.

Nurse4kids, the ANA is out there in the media whenever possible. However, the media may not be interested in nursing news. Your local media decides what is important and what isn't. The papers in my area have been posting a lot of nursing news, and they are more interested in the local angle, so they do quote both our state association and (smaller quotes) the national association. There was a front page story in the one paper here on Saturday and a huge op-ed (pertaining to a hospital's finances) in the other paper here on Sunday.

I come from a state that has a very strong nursing association. (New York) It is easier, in a way, for me to be supportive of the national arm because of it. NYSNA is strong and ANA complements it. Not the other way around, as is assumed by many. I don't think "ANA is strong and NYSNA complements it." Do I make sense?

If I worked in a state with a weak nursing association, I can see how easy it would be to dismiss ANA. I see that most of the people that are against, or atleast questioning of ANA are from these states.

So I believe the solution for these nurses is to get involved with, and join their state associations and change them to reflect the needs of the majority of those nurses. Then, it follows, ANA will benefit from that strength.

I also find that many nurses expect ANA to solve the solutions of their own particular plight. ANA was never set up to do that. They speak for us on a national level and it will be diluted to embrace ALL states. They are only a broad generalization of us all.

Ideally, we would be joining this association because it is EXCLUSIVELY devoted to the R.N. Yes, I know it leaves out LPN's, but I understand they have their own association. Now we have become so fractured, that we join other unions that also represent people in different professions. I think that's sad for all of us. We could have been so strong.

So the answer would be to work within your own state. Don't look at a national assoc. as the solution. Look within and become active in your own state. Take over your state's association if it is too conservative or not responsive to your needs.

"I come from a state that has a very strong nursing association. (New York) It is easier, in a way, for me to be supportive of the national arm because of it. NYSNA is strong and ANA complements it. Not the other way around, as is assumed by many. I don't think "ANA is strong and NYSNA complements it." Do I make sense?

If I worked in a state with a weak nursing association, I can see how easy it would be to dismiss ANA. I see that most of the people that are against, or atleast questioning of ANA are from these states."

Perfect sense. Excellent post

My question is this: Is it fair to the 6-7% who belong NOT to be strongly represented by the ANA and the excuse be "we don't have enough members"? .They should be in every TV camera available and be on every newsprint, but they aren't......

As a staff RN at the bedside (an ADN) & member of ANA, I'd say that I am very strongly represented. I see the American Nurses Association in every article about nursing & especially all the recent stories about the current crisis. The day after the ANA released its results of the online staffing survey it did in January/February, over 100 news organizations nationwide scrambled to report on it & suddenly the country noticed that there is a problem.

Thats when all the media started paying attention & the frequency of news articles & news shows talking about the shortage increased. Thats when the US Senate called a hearing on the crisis & the ANA was a major participant. The ANA is interviewed for all the news articles & reports & is involved in all the government's handling of our situation. And they do an excellent job of getting our message out. The NY Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times & many many others nationwide...regularly collaborate with the ANA on their news stories about nursing & the present situation.

So far just this year the ANA president & other ANA officials as well as ANA-member staff nurses were featured in reports by ABC tv news, CBS tv news, NBC tv news & others regarding the nursing situation of today. So far just this yr, they have also been featured in reports on the nursing shortage on Good Morning America, and most of the other tv shows like that. They have been on discussion panels on TV news & in other venues in reports on the state of healthcare in this country too. The entire list of activity for this year can be found at the website.

The ANA is all over the place. And always they are talking about the working conditons, the salaries, lack of recruitment/retention, & OUR (direct-care RNs) other issues as being the cause of the shortage & pointing out that correcting those will be the solution.

I think they are doing a very good job & there is no need for anyone to say we arent doing anything because we only have 6-7% of the nursing population. I think that 6-7% of the nursing population is doing it ALL.... much more than other nurses out there. The only thing I would say is that with more members, we could get the job done sooner because there would be more to do it. But we are still getting that job done even with the "few" that we have.

I dont know what state youre in that doesnt report any of this in their papers or their TV affiliates. Or what your state association is doing. But Natalie & Jenny make excellent points regarding that.

The ANA DOES work at the national level& so far, this year alone, has done an admirable job of bringing our issues to the forefront & to the public's & law makers attention. Your SNA, as their representative is supposed to be working for you at your local level. Your SNA IS RUN BY ITS MEMBERS. If staff nurses are not the members or taking the leadership positions there, how will staff nurses needs or agenda be addressed? The people who are in there will set the state's agenda. If its not staff RNs who are there, how will it ever get to be their agenda that gets attention in your state?

Natalie is right that the SNA is the workhorse & the ANA compliments that on the national podium. Its not supposed to be the other way around. I think alot of the misconceptions come from non-members not realizing that & having a different perception of what the organization is and not knowing how it works.

You can find the webpage & email addresses for your state association at the ANA's website under "Constituent Members Directory"

I hope that helps you get some answers from them. There is also a media relations person whose address you can find under "contact us" & who may be able to give you more info on all the media activity you missed.

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.

thank you guys..that's the info i needed :)

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.


Here is the link for the Alabama Nurses Assoc.:Alabama Nursing Assoc.

You can find out what they have been doing in your state along with membership info.

Want to know what ANA is doing to promote the profession, position statements on nursing issues, activites and legislation it supports? It's all available at:

ANA Nursing World

What are we doing on a national level:

ANA and You Bring National Attention to Nursing Concerns


Thanks for your help in providing us the critical input that has brought this issue national attention.

Immediately following the release of the online Staffing Survey results on Feb. 6, we received an outpouring of media attention, both in print and television. The topics receiving notice are the staffing survey, nursing shortage and nursing workplace concerns. ANA was mentioned on more than 100 television stations across the United States in the days immediately following the press conference. On February 13, NBC Nightly News ran a segment on the nursing shortage in which ANA was mentioned and a copy of the survey was shown.

ANA President Mary Foley, MS, RN, was a guest on Good Morning America on February 14. Foley participated in a segment that focused on emergency room diversions and mentioned the nursing shortage. Referring to the online survey, she discussed the need to improve the pipeline into nursing by getting more people into nursing schools, and into the profession after school. Foley also emphasized increasing opportunities for education in the specialties, particularly the ones hardest hit by the shortage.

American Nurses Association Addresses Nursing Shortage at Senate Subcommittee Hearing


"America is experiencing a crisis in nurse staffing," along with "an unprecedented nursing shortage," Kathy Hall, MS, RN, executive director of the Maryland Nurses Association, told participants at a packed Senate subcommittee hearing today.

Wall Street Journal Report Airs Interview with Foley


ANA President Joins Commission Addressing Workforce Shortages in Health Care


ANA Cosponsoring Teleconference on Uninsured


Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 Funding Recommendations for Nurse Education and Research


Final Vote Leaves Massachusetts Nurses Without National Representation


Results from a mail ballot count regarding affiliation with the American Nurses Association (ANA) have left Massachusetts nurses without national representation in a time when nursing is in jeopardy and in need of a strong, united voice. More...

Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 Funding Recommendations for Nurse Education and Research


The nursing profession is facing a staffing crisis, caused in part by a lack of young people entering the profession and an aging workforce. New admissions into nursing schools have dropped dramatically over the past six years, and the average age of registered nurses is 43 years. In response to this crisis, ANA has issued recommendations to Congress that would increase funding for the Nurse Education Act, the Nurse Loan Repayment Program, and the National Institute of nursing Research. More...

American Nurses Association Demands Stricter Violence Protections For Health Care Workers


In wake of the tragic murder of a nurse by a patient who was being admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Port St. Lucie, FL, the American Nurses Association (ANA) is calling for federal standards mandating a safer work environment for the nation's health care workers. More... | Workplace Violence

Education Development (NEED) Act


The American Nurses Association (ANA) applauds Senators Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and their colleagues regarding the introduction of the Nursing Employment and Education Development (NEED) Act, a bill aimed at alleviating a growing shortage of nurses in the United States. More...

Ethics and Human Rights: Issues Update - Online Ethics Newsletter Launched


See:ANA News

Some states have their own web site, others use ANA's website. Want to know what the state association is doing where you live?


ANA state list

Want to know more about the new union arm of the ANA, the United American Nurses-the Union for Nurses by Nurses?UAN

Or maybe you need some nursing links re diseases,international nursing,maternal-child health,governmentlinks or want to join a nursing list serve? Try here:

ANA index

Desire to know about Principles for Safe Staffing? Check here:Principles for Safe Staffing

All this information is provide by OUR MEMBERSHIP dues and we allow the world unrestricted access to it, just need to peruse the web site. You can even sign up for nursing e-mails without being a member, because we feel that disemminating professional nursing information is one of our major functions.

I have visited the ANA web site frequently in the past year while a member of my agency's safety committee as I knew workplace advocacy info was here; but I became more richly aware of nursing world's treasures while researching info to give to anyone attending our Millennium Nurses rally.

Hope this helps you to understand the ANA better..all this info available just a few keystrokes away!

PS: Hope you stop here too.Join ANA

[ May 01, 2001: Message edited by: NRSKarenRN ]

[ May 02, 2001: Message edited by: NRSKarenRN ]


Maybe you missed this press release & the TV Report......

Wall Street Journal Report Airs Interview with Foley


Excerpts from an interview with ANA President Mary Foley, MS, RN, regarding the nursing shortage can be seen Saturday, Feb. 24 through Monday, Feb. 26 on the Wall Street Journal Report, a television news show affiliated with CNBC. The show is a syndicated program and will air at different times throughout the United States. Check your local listing for air times or go to the CNBC website at www.cnbc.com/cnbctv/faq/wsjaffils1.html for listings by state. For more information, please contact Hope Hall at [email protected].

Press releases are sent out to all media. It may be that the media in your area doesnt choose to pick it up & publish it. Maybe you could write your news editor & TV station & ask why they arent getting this information out & encourage them to do so in the future.

Heres just a sample of info youve missed. I cant find the links to the ABC & CBS reports but they may be the archives of those stations if you want to do a search. More info that you might be interested in that apparently didnt make it to your local newspapers:

ANA Letter in The New York Times http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/ltr1002.htm

ANA to U.S. News & World Report http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/ltr0426.htm

Press release: ANA Responds to Leno Remark http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2001/ltr0502.htm

Press release: Chicago Tribune Series Echoes ANA's Concerns About Consequences of Cuts in Nurse Staffing And Training

ANA cites articles' focus on individual blame as detracting from larger safety concerns- Washington DC http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/pr0915.htm

Press release: Respondents cite reduced time for patient care, concern for patient safety

Washington, DC -- http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2001/pr0206.htm

Press release: ANA President Questions Gideon's Crossing Portrayal of Nurse Practitioners http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/ltr1206.htm

Press release: Chicago Tribune Op-Ed Page

To Protect Patients' Safety, Nursing Care Needs to be strengthened, not eroded. http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/ltr0915.htm

Press release: American Nurses Association Applauds Introduction of Bill to Restrict Overtime for Nurses and Other Health Care Workers - Calls bill a first step in addressing unsafe staffing practices http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/pr0915b.htm

Press release: Nurse To Participate On Health Care Panel at Democratic National Convention http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/pr0814.htm

Theres a ton more stuff like this that could fill this board with but this small sample is enough to start. Sorry you missed it all but I hope this helps.

Press release:

Shortage Gets National Attention But Working Conditions Ignored by CBS News


ANA staff and President Mary Foley, MS, RN, provided information to CBS on a segment regarding the nursing shortage which aired Dec. 28, 2000 on the CBS Evening News. Foley was taped for the segment; however, her clip was not used in the piece that was aired. Even though the segment brought national attention to the crisis of the impeding nursing shortage, it failed to look at one of the real problems which is contributing to this crisis - working conditions.

During Foley’s interview with CBS, she emphasized that nurses are being forced to work mandatory overtime, several hospitals have been charged with unsafe staffing practices and nurses are required to manage higher patient workloads even when patient acuity is rising. Unfortunately, none of this was mentioned in the segment. Though we applaud CBS for bringing national attention to the nursing shortage, we are disappointed that the overall message of improving the working conditions of nurses in order to recruit and retain RNs has been ignored. A written version of the story that aired can be viewed on the CBS website at http://cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,260229-412,00.shtml.

ANA will encourage CBS to do another segment with a greater focus on working conditions. Nurses are also encouraged to provide comments to CBS by clicking on the "feedback" section of its website and prompting the network to take a more extensive look at this issue. http://www.ana.org/news/nws01_01.htm

Washington Post Article Looks at Use of Paid ‘Sitters' to Replace Missing Nurses


A front-page article in the Jan. 7, 2001, edition of The Washington Post focused on a little-known aspect of the nurse staffing crisis: the trend of patients bringing their own private nursing assistants with them when they go into the hospital. The article, by staff writer Abigail Trafford, titled "When the Hospital Staff Isn't Enough," notes, "It has come to this: Bring your own nurse. Even in the best hospitals, patients and their families are turning to private nursing help to supplement care from staffs that are often short-handed and over-worked." Private certified nursing assistants, or "sitters," as they are often called, are being used more and more to supplement nursing care, Trafford writes, "to tend to the more personal needs of patients, and provide some of the TLC services of yesteryear."

The ANA worked closely with the reporter on the article. Nurses have traditionally been the "safety sentinels" for hospitals, ANA President Mary Foley, MS, RN, is quoted as saying. But, she adds, "Don't assume that everything is going to be taken care of." The U.S. health care system, with its advanced technologies, "will probably cure you, but it can't protect you," she adds, implying that adequate nursing staffing is still needed.

As a follow-up, ANA's labor arm, the United American Nurses (UAN), is sending a letter to The Post detailing its efforts to solve the nurse staffing crisis through its upcoming "Safe Staffing" campaign.

This is the second report in less than a month in which Trafford focused on the staffing crisis in nursing. A column in the Dec. 19, 2000, Health Section of The Washington Post featured a letter to Santa asking for a "happy" nurse. The column, "A Christmas Gift We Would All Cherish," outlines the challenges presented by the nursing shortage in hospitals nationwide and the stress of nurses working short-staffed, caring for too many patients in too few numbers. http://www.ana.org/news/nws01_01.htm

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