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Nurses Are Marching For Change

At this weekend’s women’s marches

Unionism and feminism go hand in hand. Just ask union nurses. Our women-dominated profession stands up against a billion-dollar health care industry every single day, and using our collective power, we win critical protections in our union contract — from fair wages and benefits, to protection from workplace harassment and violence.

This weekend, members of National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in America, will be taking our solidarity to the next level by joining our allies in women’s marches across the country. I am personally thrilled to be marching with my fellow nurses at the Washington, D.C. women’s march!

We’re marching because we’re not just bedside caregivers. We are social justice warriors. Our patients’ illness and injuries begin out in the world, and our oath to protect patients means we need to be out in the world, too, raising our voices for Medicare for All — and for gender, racial, environmental, and economic justice.

Here are nurses from across the country, sharing why they feel compelled to march. Take a look, get inspired, and tell us why you are marching, in the comments!

WASHINGTON, D.C.

“I’ll be marching with union nurses and other workers to say women can move mountains with our collective power. In this country, we still haven’t gotten an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed, and women still aren’t getting the compensation we deserve. As a union, we have seen time and time again that nurses have been able to use our collective power and our union contract to level the playing field and get paid commensurate with the lifesaving work that we do.” — Deborah Burger, RN, NNU President

“I am a huge proponent of union advocacy … I hate that union representation has taken a decline in our country and that people really don’t understand the importance of having a strong unified union. So anytime that there is an event that would have high visibility, I am there so that those nurses who are part of NNU will see that the union is strong and working for you.” — Candice McDonnough, primary care RN

BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA

“We are marching for women’s and worker’s rights as members of NNU, the largest union of registered nurses in the country. We know with a union contract, we can combat wage discrimination, workplace violence, and gender discrimination. But really, we take part in this march to speak up for our communities. We want to make sure we have clean air and water and that people can get the medical care they need when they need it.”
— Sandy Reding, RN, NNU Vice President

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

“As a nurse, I’m marching for every human being’s right to receive health care, regardless of their ability to pay. We need Medicare for All! I’m also marching for women’s rights, civil rights, social and economic justice, and for a healthier planet.” — Michelle Vo, adult primary care RN

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

“This year, in Chicago, I’m marching for Medicare for All, along with my colleagues. We’re going to be passing out flyers and talking to people about how health care is a human right. Medicare for All is critical for all people in America, and we know that it can help protect women — who should not have to put up with harassment or stay in jobs they would be better off leaving just to maintain access to employer-based health insurance. Chicago nurses are marching for a health care revolution!”— Tina Montanez, operating room RN

GULFPORT, FLORIDA

“I’ve been involved with the Women’s March since it started in 2016. We had a huge march in St. Petersburg, Fla., and I’ve also marched in Washington, D.C. I’m marching because I want my country back … I really want to stand up for the rights of myself and my sisters. Nurses are advocates for our patients; we are advancing the right for everyone to have high-quality health care, a high-quality environment, and a high-quality social safety net.” — Terrie Weeks, med/surg RN

EL PASO, TEXAS

“It’s very empowering to see so many women come together. [We are all] sharing the same ideas and the same concerns. I know there is strength in numbers, and it is helpful to know you are not the only one who is feeling oppressed.” — Tishna Soto, emergency room RN