I think we should spend much more time with our patients, those of us who do bedside nursing. If I had more time, I would. And, I try to do more than I actually can in the time I have, that's usually why I'm 1-1.5 hours late leaving in the evening, I've got to chart all the things I did with my patients. It all goes back to being short staffed. I don't mind hard work. But I do mind going home feeling like there was something important I didn't get to do because I had too many irons in the fire. Administrations won't change anything until they have to.
I'm not sure about the big nursing organizations, either. I'm not clear on what they have or haven't done. They can claim to have done a lot of things, but without being able to do the background checks on the information, I'm not sure I'd trust them either, as they are a business too.
I'm all for writing to your congressman, legislators and trying to get a bill passed like California did ?last year, with minimum staffing ratios set by the state. That is something that we all need, if they'd do it right.
I'm also all for unionizing, but the right one has to be chosen. We had a union in our hospital a few years ago, big mistake for us. Sold the "non-professionals" down the river and never did get a contract. "Professionals" weren't unionized, because they lumped the RN's with Dieticians, Pharmacists, PT's, etc and we were being wooed nicely with raises and empty promises. (Now there aren't as many of those other "professionals" around, bet some aren't so wooed with our facility now.) Needless to say, it didn't stay long. When unionizing, you have to be careful. They aren't supposed to be able to fire you for union talk, but they do. My husband is proof of that. But the NLRB can get you your job back if you can prove you were fired for that reason. In some states, you don't even have a "right to work" and can get fired for anything, with not much recourse for you.
Sure, I'd like more money. But I'd rather feel like I'm delivering a safer level of care to my patients. Not to mention, that if I'd get to go to lunch break, or get those 15 minute breaks the law says they have to give you, I'd be in a much nicer mood.