Request: I Need Current Opinions on Nursing Unions

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I'm graduating next month (yay!!) with my BSN. As part of our senior coursework, we have to teach 3 lessons associated with nursing. My final lesson to present is on Nursing Unions.

    I know I could try to go through all of the threads in his forum and pick out relevant information since many topics are similar. I apologize for this in advance. I don't like to see repetitive posts in forums, but I am hoping that I can get some responses that to use as current data on nurses' opinions of unions.

    I would greatly appreciate your input to these questions:

    1. What state do you work in as a nurse, and are you part of a union?

    2. Do you think nursing unions are beneficial or detrimental?

    3. What advantages or disadvantages do you see with nursing unions?

    If you do not feel comfortable posting your opinion in public, I'd still love to hear your thoughts. You can send me a private message.

    Much gratitude in advance! This last month of school is completely stressing me out. I have far too many presentations, papers and clinical hours thrown at me in the end.

    - Lynne from Upstate New York
  2. Visit nicholaa2 profile page

    About nicholaa2

    Joined: Oct '10; Posts: 17; Likes: 3
    from US


  3. by   Chico David RN
    Traffic in this part of the site is down a bit lately, so you may not get so many replies here. But I'll chip in to help out a future nurse and hope a few others do the same:
    I'm an unabashedly pro-union partisan, so that's one point of view;

    I live and work in California, where I have been an RN for 30 years next month. I played a leading role in organizing my hospital 10 years ago and have been very involved in my union ever since.

    I'm entirely in favor of unions. Not all unions are equal and some don't do the best job for their members, but on balance they do a great deal of good. You could get a lot of arguments on the definition of a "profession" but one characteristic most would agree on is that a profession sets its own standards of what is acceptable practice. As an individual nurse employed as an hourly worker, there is nothing you can do against the power of your employer to set standards. Only by banding together with others can we do that. And unions are the only effective way of banding together.

    Nursing unions bring control of our practice, better pay and benefits and support when we need it against an unjust employer. The only real disadvantage is that a union won't run itself. For a union to really work members have to get involved and give some of their time to make the union run.
    finally, the best unions for RNs are the nurse run unions that have a professional focus, not the industrial unions that represent many types of workers.
  4. by   CMCRN
    You've probably allready done your presentation but I'll chime in anyway.
    I live and work in California and am a member of a union, The California Nurses Association. I have been a nurse and a member for over 30 years. I think it is definately important, you can define working conditions to insure safe staffing and safe patients, cared for by nurses who have been oriented to the area not floated at the last minute. Here in California we have ratios to insure safe staffing.
    If I was a new grad looking for a job I would definately want to work somewhere that had a union. Usually salary and benifits are better.
    Chico David is much more articulate than I am on the subject.