Austin nurses vote resounding yes to NNOC

Submitted by ADonahue on
Group of nurses outside with raised fists.

RNs in nurse programs at Ascension Seton Medical Center join NNOC

By Lucy Diavolo

National Nurse magazine - Jan | Feb | March 2024 Issue

In January, registered nurses in the resident and fellow programs at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, (ASMCA) voted overwhelmingly, with 96 percent in favor, to join National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), an affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU).

The resident and fellow programs at ASMCA include a one-year resident program for nurses who are newly graduated and a six-month fellowship program for RNs who are transferring to a new specialty. The 225 RNs in these programs will join the 825 RNs who won their union election in September 2022. There are now more than 1,000 nurses represented by NNOC/NNU at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin and more than 2,500 represented throughout the Ascension system.

“We do the same work as any other union RN at this facility,” said Liz Bartling, RN, member of the resident program in the telemetry unit. “To the detriment of RNs and our patients, Ascension has maintained a ridiculous position that we should not join with our union colleagues at this facility. This vote clearly demonstrates that the registered nurses at Seton Main are united to advance the common interests of RNs and our patients — safer staffing, increased RN retention, and a protected voice in patient care.”

“Unfortunately for the sinful profiteers who manage Ascension, our power is only growing,” said Zetta Hackleman, RN in the perioperative department and member of the contract bargaining team. “Ascension has attempted to silence RNs here and across the country from speaking up about patient care issues. But, fortunately for our patients, our RN movement — including now five union election victories across four facilities in three states — continues onward.”

“The nurse residents and fellows at ASMCA have ushered in the new year with a wonderful victory for their patients and for the RN movement nationwide,” said NNU President Jean Ross, RN. “On behalf of thousands of NNU members, I am delighted to welcome you to the ranks of the fastest-growing RN union in the country.” 

Lucy Diavolo is a communications specialist at National Nurses United.