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Should nurses join a Union or not really?

Nurses   (472 Views 6 Comments)
by didiabu didiabu, BSN, RN (Member)

797 Visitors; 56 Posts

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I am a new nurse in US and I already have experience of 3 yrs in asia. But the practice in US vs my home country is so different almost in all ways. I am in my 1 month orientation, and it sucks because my preceptor is expecting I know everything and would just leave me alone most of the time. This really makes me want to just leave and go to another hospital because I am always thinking I might end up making a mistake. Everytime I go to work I always feel anxious and sad because I feel like I am just not good. This makes me feel like a very incompetent nurse and I am scared one day I might do something wrong and makes me lose my license. During the orientation opening the hospital mentioned "it is not good to have a Union blah blah..." But my husband suggest I should. I live in Maryland. I want to know if this something every nurse should do. 

 

Sorry for my long post. I am just overwhelmed, anxious, cry baby in this new job in a new country. 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

11,641 Visitors; 1,224 Posts

You can't personally join a union. The facility has to be unionized, and that process takes a lot of time and effort. You could look for jobs at places that are unionized, but the situation and anxiety you're describing could happen anywhere.

As an aside: management will ALWAYS say that unions are a bad thing. For me, that's a big factor in favor of having one...

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333 Visitors; 59 Posts

I kinda fall in the middle of the union debate. A few years ago while working agency, I was sent to a facility that was unionized. I was surprised to see the conditions among nursing staff like heavy work/patient load (hence, why agency was there), high turnover of staff, one side is the nurses other is admin./management who clearly didn't want them to go union- as it was told to me by an aide. Pay wise isn't all that different either because I applied at that facility. Btw this was a skilled nursing facility.

I guess there's some pro's and con's to forming a union. Maybe it just depends of the type of facility that it may work.

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

1 Follower; 13,534 Visitors; 1,534 Posts

Unions always benefit the employee. Union jobs pay more, get better benefits and have more fair policies. 

 

 

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,860 Visitors; 6,121 Posts

The first hospital I worked at as an LPN and RN from 1984-90, had a union with some staff, but not the RNs. As an LPN, I reaped some benefits, but management would find ways to circumvent the union.

For example, after working 2 1/2 years as a psych LPN, I wanted to transfer to the OR as a scrub nurse. The job was posted and I was awarded the position, but I got the idea that I had received special consideration.

I worked at a state hospital in '92 and '93 which had a union and they really went to bat for me when administration filed charges and suspended me for 15 days for alleged patient neglect/abuse. I quit, was employed elsewhere, but the union still fought for me and a year later had the charges were dropped and I was reimbursed for the suspension.

Now, on the flip side of things, I've been able to bargain with administration at the non-union facility where I am now employed. For example, I volunteered in 2003 to work every weekend for an increase in pay. I don't believe a union would have sanctioned that maneuver since I was given special consideration.

There's always two sides to every coin.

I am sorry to hear about your emotional struggles with this position, didiabu. To feel unsupported and incompetent is a very stressful situation to say the least. Hopefully, we here at allnurses can be virtual supporters to assist you in your endeavor to make a decision and get you to a place at which you will feel comfortable.

The best to you.

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Luchador has 5 years experience as a CNA, EMT-B.

1,576 Visitors; 242 Posts

Read the posts on this forum from RNs getting fired for no reason, or lies--- and you will have your answer on whether or not you should join a union. 

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