I agree that walking out is patient abandonment, and I really don't think leaving my homefolks here hurting is going to help the cause of nursing much.
On the other hand, a strike is planned for, by federal law a 10 day notice must be given, and care is taken to make provisions for the patients.
I was on strike in 1988, all of our patients had been transferred to other cities (we are the only hospital in town), except for about 10 which were cared for by supervisory staff. Our city poured out support, approbation and donuts non-stop. The paper ran supportive editorials, and we got fairly balanced ocverage in the TV news. When my husband's coworkers asked why we were on strike as our wages seemed fairly decent for this area, he told them about working conditions, the changes and attacks being made on our health insurance and scheduling protections, etc. They all went wow, what took them so long? Even some of the private practice docs came out of their offices and walked the picket line on their lunch break. One sent a lunch wagon every night to feed us for free. Getting the word out really DOES help.