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Retired RN Kay McVay Honored with 2013 “RAGE for JUSTICE” Award

California Nurses Association , 6/18/13

Kay McVay makes the 2013 Consumer Advocate Hall of Fame
Says advocacy group: www.ConsumerWatchDog.org

Kay McVay worked as a registered nurse in critical care for nearly four decades before retiring in 1995. She is a tenacious and effective champion of patients’ rights who was elected and served as the former Vice President, and then President of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee from 1994 to 2003.

As a young girl growing up in Compton, California, school counselors discouraged her aspirations to become a nurse. The rest is history.

Kay played a pivotal role in transforming the CNA from a nurse management-led organization to one focused strongly on nurse and patient advocacy. Under her leadership, CNA pioneered the HMO patients’ rights movement and grew to become the most effective labor union in America.

Kay presided over many prominent legislative campaigns, most notable CNA’s historic victory in 1999 to establish the toughest RN-to-patient staffing ratios in California hospitals—now a model for the rest of the nation.

Kay also led a series of watershed strikes from 1996 to 1998 to achieve standards that Kaiser nurses can enjoy today.

Kay is considered a fearless model of the registered nurse as a patient advocate: confronting hospital mangers, industry consultants, and politicians who sacrifice patient care protections for corporate profits. She has been an outspoken leader in the battle to assure guaranteed healthcare for everyone in the U.S. through an expanded Medicare for all system, and opposing cuts to bedrock civil society programs like Social Security.

The last 17 years of Kay’s career were spent working in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente in Martinez, California. McVay began her involvement with the CNA/NNOC in 1978 when she became the chief nurse representative at the Martinez facility.

As president emeritus, McVay remains immersed in RN issues and is currently the chair of the nascent CNA/NNOC retirement program.

If any registered nurse can be said to symbolize the new face of nursing, it’s Kay McVay.


Please watch and share this inspiring video/blog about Kay McVay with other RNs.

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