Napa Landslide. Queen of the Valley RNs: Vote by 64% to Join California Nurses Association
Registered nurses at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa voted by 64 percent Tuesday night to affiliate with the state’s premiere organization of RNs, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
The RNs, who voiced a variety of concerns from safe staffing to unit closures, voted 248 to 140 to join CNA in a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. CNA will represent nearly 500 RNs at the Napa hospital.
“What a great day for Napa County patients and the community. They deserve the highest quality of care that is best achieved when nurses have a collective voice and a stronger ability to act on behalf of their patients and themselves. Congratulations to the Queen of the Valley RNs,” said CNA and NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.
Many Queen of the Valley RNs have talked to CNA for years about joining the union. Growing concerns about appropriate staffing for both RNs and other hospital staff were a key factor in the final decision of a strong majority of the nurses to vote for the union, along with hospital unit closures, and economic cuts.
“Now that the nurses at Queen of the Valley have spoken clearly by choosing our union, the California Nurses Association, we can advocate strongly for our patients to have the best care possible, and for the future of nursing,” said Queen of the Valley RN Karen McNair.
CNA is a growing influence in the St. Joseph Health System, the Orange County-based hospital chain that operates Queen of the Valley. Overall, CNA now represents some 1,600 St. Joseph RNs at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Petaluma Valley Hospital in Petaluma, and St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley in Southern California as well as Queen of the Valley.
"I am so excited that the nurses at Queen of the Valley have joined Eureka, Petaluma and Apple Valley RNs in CNA,” said Kerry Sweeney, a, St. Joseph Eureka RN.
“With more CNA nurses in the St. Joe's Health System, we increase our ability to advocate for our patients and the communities we serve,” Sweeney said. “We warmly welcome our Queen of the Valley RNs into the CNA and look forward to working with them on the many issues confronting our patients and profession."
The win also reflects CNA’s strength in Catholic hospital systems. CNA is the largest organization of Catholic hospitals nurses in the U.S., representing 16,000 Catholic hospital RNs.
“We, the nurses, have chosen CNA because we know the difference it will make for our patients who expect us to be an advocate for them when they come to the hospital. We can do that now that we have nearly 500 nurses from Queen of the Valley uniting with RNs throughout the St. Joseph system,” said Queen of the Valley RN MaryLou Bahn, RN.
Bahn also cited the combined strength of NNU, over 185,000 RNs nationwide. “That’s real power for us and our patients.”