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The ANA is killing nurses

Posted

Has 4 years experience.

Decades of inaction and misrepresentation by the American Nurses Association (ANA) has left bedside nurses vulnerable during this deadly pandemic. They parade themselves around as the voice of 4 million nurses but only claim an extremely small minority of that number as card carrying members. Modern nurses, like most working-class citizens, lack widespread unionization and the powerful voice that echoes from its pulpit. Instead, the ANA is representing us on national media outlets with big-medicine shills who wear suits instead of scrubs. These imposters are more concerned with maintaining their cozy relationship with the AMA, AHA, and AHIP than they are with standing up for bedside nurses. Something needs to change.

For years the ANA has opposed nurse led initiatives at the national, state, and local levels. In 2018, they vehemently campaigned alongside corporate interest groups against Massachusetts nurses who bravely fought for safe staffing ratios. They’ve rinsed and repeated this effort across our country with their campfire staffing committee nonsense. Furthermore, for the past decade, the ANA has remained essentially silent as corporations have closed community hospitals in pursuit of profits over quality patient care and equity. These actions and their weak voice on all matters related to bedside work have put nurses in harm’s way.

The ANA has left our community vulnerable and without a powerful and unified voice. Today, as our generation takes its most trying test, we await a financial package from congress that will bail out banks, airlines, hospitals, the liquor industry, and CANDY COMPANIES – but rest assured, nurses will see very little of this. Yet, it’s nurses who will be taking incredible risks – alongside our fellow HCWs – as we care for infectious patients without the proper PPE or benefits to support us and our families should we pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Moreover, there have been an alarming number of stories of how hospitals and the government are working hand over fist to limit your freedom as a nursing professional. From limiting when and where a nurse can wear a mask during an outbreak that is widespread, to Boards of nursing conspiring to ensure nurses have no choice but to subject themselves to exposure regardless of their personal circumstances (see Oregon COVID-19 position statement).

For some, nursing might be a calling; but for EVERYONE, it is a profession. We live in a country where professionals are entitled to proper protection from all workplace hazards. Bet your bottom dollar, that includes infectious particles in a hospital.

For those of us who see nursing as both a profession and a calling, it still isn’t martyrdom. Soldiers enlist to defend our country, firefighters sign up to save souls from burning structures, police patrol to face dangers in our community so that the rest of us are safe. They have guns, oxygen, and handcuffs. Can we just get some godforsaken masks?

There are many issues at play here, and crucifying the ANA won’t solve everything, but I do contend that their disservice is worth mentioning. So, let’s be blunt, the ANA is a big-medicine interest machine that doesn't trouble itself with the issues of nurses who actually work for a living. Through their inaction, misrepresentation, and undermining of nurse activism, they've left us high and dry without a truly powerful voice at the most inopportune time.

Don’t join 'em, Unionize! It won’t solve all of our problems, but for darn sure the future will be better than what we have now.

1. Vote with your money, don’t join the ANA

2. Cancel current memberships

3. Support nursing unionization to whatever degree possible in your state

-The ANA eats their own

Ana m

Specializes in Er/pacu. Has 29 years experience.

Amen

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

All the unions in not just my state, but region are affiliated, essentially subsidiaries of the ANA, so I'm not sure how supporting unionization helps oppose the ANA.

DannyBoy8, RN

Has 4 years experience.

17 minutes ago, MunoRN said:

All the unions in not just my state, but region are affiliated, essentially subsidiaries of the ANA, so I'm not sure how supporting unionization helps oppose the ANA.

The ANA terminated its collective bargaining activities years ago, though remnants and backdoor ties do remain from existing personal relationships, I'm sure. Not all nursing unions are created equal, and it's not my agenda to analyze the merits of each and every one - that should be up to potential members given their local circumstances. I can say surely that the NNU and SEIU through their local entities advocate for their workers.

Will supporting any union necessarily bring about needed change? Of course not, but you can find the ones that will empower you and figure out how to organize with them.

Edited by DannyBoy8

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

In 1974 as a new nurse, I joined ANA thinking it was the 'professional' thing to do. After many years of membership, I never saw it THAT way, so I dropped my membership. Never regretted doing so and only sorry I didn't do it sooner. And while I never participated in anything National, I did attend some State level activities. Still not enough to sway my continued membership.

To OP - is there any union organization that would 'umbrella-zie' nursing under its wings like CWA or the Teamsters or AFL-CIO? What a powerful block it could become in time!

DannyBoy8, RN

Has 4 years experience.

1 minute ago, amoLucia said:

In 1974 as a new nurse, I joined ANA thinking it was the 'professional' thing to do. After many years of membership, I never saw it THAT way, so I dropped my membership. Never regretted doing so and only sorry I didn't do it sooner. And while I never participated in anything National, I did attend some State level activities. Still not enough to sway my continued membership.

To OP - is there any union organization that would 'umbrella-zie' nursing under its wings like CWA or the Teamsters or AFL-CIO? What a powerful block it could become in time!

My dreams are made of a giant NNU with 4 million members, but that's just me. Could you imagine the voice and influence?

Edited by DannyBoy8

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Quick to ask - who is NNU?

DannyBoy8, RN

Has 4 years experience.

3 minutes ago, amoLucia said:

Quick to ask - who is NNU?

National nurses united.

"NNU was founded in 2009 unifying three of the most active, progressive organizations in the U.S.—and the major voices of unionized nurses—in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association"

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

TY. Will do some research. I am retired but my interest remains active.

brap740, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU/ER/trauma. Has 11 years experience.

Nursing unions are the weakest I’ve ever seen.

teamsters are visciously strong, and they drive trucks. They don’t hold a professional license to care for the sick.

Step up nurses. Get as viscous towards process issues and administration as you are to your fellow nurses and you’ll own the profession, and get rewarded for your hard efforts.

You’re getting screwed.

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative. Has 9 years experience.

Your president isn't helping either.

Lock it down or people will continue to die

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

brap740 - I think you meant the word VICIOUS??? As in ugly, mean, brutal?

NOT viscous, as in slippery, slimey?

Altho I could see slippery in certain contexts as well as vicious.

Just FYI, mucho years ago, I was in a Teamsters-represented organization and we were providing nursing services.

Note: am just trying to be light. Not trying to be smarty or anything.

I really like this post and your past posts. Agree with your points. The ANA is disgusting and I’m ashamed that they supposedly represent registered nurses. I will never support the ANA.