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National Nurses Director RoseAnn DeMoro, Makes Most Influential Healthcare List 10 Straight Years

NNU Press Release Press Release, 8/22/11

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RoseAnn DeMoro, NNU Executive Director

For the tenth straight year, National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro has won national recognition from a major healthcare industry publication as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” which was announced today.

Perhaps most notably, DeMoro is one of only 10 people in the U.S. – and the only one representing people who actually provide direct healthcare to patients – to be named to the list for each of the ten years it has been compiled.

This year, DeMoro was placed at number 31 on the list which is dominated by government officials and corporate executives. It is put together by Modern Healthcare, a nationally-known, Chicago-based healthcare industry news weekly.

DeMoro is also the sole labor leader on the list this year. NNU is the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses.
 
NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro speaks at NNU-sponsored rally on Wall Street, in New York, in June, calling for a tax on Wall Street to “heal America.”

"We are enormously proud to see RoseAnn recognized and honored year after year after year," said NNU Co-President Deborah Burger, RN. "It is both a recognition of her unparalleled leadership for nurses and patients across the country, but also an honor for a powerful and influential national nurses movement that we are building together."

Since the NNU was founded in December 2009, from the affiliation of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, former United American Nurses, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association, NNU has been one of the fastest-growing organizations in the U.S. winning representation for 11,000 RNs at 24 hospitals in nine states. Today NNU represents 170,000 RNs.

Additionally, NNU has been a leader in sponsoring and achieving landmark patient reforms, such as nurse-to-patient ratios and limits on managed care abuses, winning record improvements for direct care RNs, and in campaigning for the most far reaching healthcare reform to expand Medicare to cover everyone.

Currently, NNU is campaigning for a change in national priorities, including a tax on Wall Street financial speculation to raise needed revenue for jobs, healthcare, education, housing, and other human needs, a Main Street Contract for America.

‘Nurses Wield Their Power’

In a companion interview, appropriately titled, “Nurses Wield Their Power,” DeMoro talks about NNU’s current efforts, and the need to press leaders in Washington of both parties to address the crisis faced by so many in communities around the U.S.

She notes the contrast with Republican Congress member Paul Ryan, who headed the magazine’s list this year, and the many others on the list who believe that corporate medical care is the best approach to care delivery, despite the ongoing healthcare crisis as a result of skyrocketing costs, quality problems, and 50 million uninsured Americans.

“The market isn't magic and it doesn't trickle down. There's a role for government—I just wish the people in government would play it,” DeMoro told Modern Healthcare. “The Paul Ryans of the world actually don't want a society. They want individuals and corporations to make ungodly amounts of money. There is no society—only individuals and what individuals can do on their own.”

The magazine also notes her criticism of Democrats, including President Obama, for failing to propose more effective, guaranteed reform, as in Medicare for all. Obama, she said, “could've embraced and fought for—and had the same amount of opposition—Medicare for all. He had the power and didn't use it.”

DeMoro tells a fitting story of a nurse lobbying in Washington in June, when NNU turned out more than 1,000 RNs to press for NNU’s Main Street reforms. Told by a top legislative aide that nurses need to “lower their expectations,” the nurse replied: “Do you want us to say that to you when we prep you for surgery?”

At a time, DeMoro told Modern Healthcare, “’when  nurses are losing their jobs as small community hospitals close or they are often supporting spouses, grown children and even parents who have lost their jobs.’ She predicted the frustrating situation would lead to political change. ‘Heroes aren't made, they're cornered, and nurses are being cornered—and, believe me, they're hero material. People are angry. We're going to tap that anger and run with that anger’.”

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