<severed ties with the ANA, because the ANA was not representing them. It is my understainding that the ANA does not support collective bargaining.>
That understanding is inaccurate. Maybe its time for an update. An easy place to begin would be to go to the ANA website & click on COLLECTIVE BARGAINING in the pull down menu. Along with much info supporting collective bargaining, right there on the ANAs own website it says that the ANAs philosophy is that not only is collective bargaining a professional thing for RNs to do but, according to the ANA, it is a "PROFESSIONAL IMPERATIVE" & the "single best way for RNs to advocate for pt safety, quality care, & for themselves as employees with a legal say in their conditions of employment". It is also stated in the ANA's published National Bill of Nurses Rights.
In addition, the unionized state assocs are the largest members of the ANA and the majority of the ANA membership is union RNs. In response to their directives, the ANA supported the creation of its RN labor union branch 3 yrs ago, the national RN union known as the United American Nurses (UAN)/AFL-CIO, consisting of over 100,000 ANA members - its entire unionized staff RN membership - from more than 26 states across the country, including the South.
Its true that in the past the ANA did not focus enough on the nurse at the bedside. Part of that was due to the fact that those RNs did not bother to vote when it came to directing the ANA, did not run for leadership offices, or get involved. But nurse executives, managers, advanced practice nurses, etc did do those things & directed the ANA their way. Staff RNs finally had enough of that & things have changed since they stood up & put their power to use. After all, they are the majority of the membership.
Staff RNs have been claiming their share of the control of the organization, are an even stronger voice in the ANA thru the UAN, are on the Board of Directors, in other leadership positions & succeeded in re-focusing the ANA, directing a restructuring of the organization, its activities, and where their membership dues are spent.
Read the Governmental Affairs page on the ANA website to get a quick update on all the work being done for the issues of the bedside nurse.
And FYI, in its 101 yr history, only 1/2 of 3 state assoc have ever disaffiliated from the ANA. And I think some of that had to do with politics & personal interests for the leadership in those 3 state assoc. BUT 54 state assoc still remain with the ANA - one for every state - including new ones made up by nurses from the other half of those 3 states that left - as well as DC & the US Virgin Islands. That should tell us something.
If the ANA still wasnt going to be responsive to staff RNs despite our efforts,and if it didnt support collective bargaining, at least 100,000 of us would have already walked out the door together, made our own assoc, & allowed the ANA to implode - because without us staff RNs, there is no ANA. But thats not happening. Thousands of us from EVERY state are still there because we are succeeding in making our national professional association what we need it to be.
Believe it or not.