Health and Safety

Nurse holds sign "Protect Nurses, Patients, Public Health"


Nurses and other health care workers are on the front lines of the pandemic; our and our patient's protection is of the utmost importance. View our resources on Covid-19 and protecting nurses and other health care workers and their patients.

Nurse hold sign "Save Lives: Safe Staffing Now"

Safe RN-to-Patient Staffing Ratios

NNU’s proposal for minimum, mandated, nurse-to-patient staffing ratios sets a minimum number of nurses to safely care for a given number of patients, with adjustments to increase nurse staffing based on patient acuity. Learn more about our campaign.

Nurses hold signs calling for safer workplaces

Workplace Violence Prevention

Violence against nurses and other health care workers in hospitals and other health care facilities is a growing epidemic across the United States. Learn more about NNU's national campaign to prevent workplace violence.

Infectious Disease

Covid-19 and Ebola are high-profile examples of the infectious diseases to which RNs can be exposed. NNU advocates for nurses to have the resources they need, including education, training, and optimal personal protective equipment. Our successes include winning a historic OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard to protect health care workers from Covid-19, landmark mandatory Ebola guidelines in California, and collective bargaining agreements with strong infectious disease protections.

Patient Handling

Sprains, strains, and tears, make up 52% of all injuries that result in days away from work for RNs. Unsafe patient handling causes the bulk of these injuries, some of which have ended nurses’ careers. The solution? A safe patient handling program that includes appropriate equipment, education, and training. NNU regularly sponsors state and federal legislation, participates in the rulemaking process, and negotiates strong contracts to ensure that RNs are protected.

Latest Resources

Nurse outside holds sign "Prioritize Public Health"

Is Covid Endemic for All?

This CE class will provide a historical analysis of labeling a disease endemic and how it undergirds government and employer inaction. After tracing this history, the class will discuss the ways in which we can reimagine a “new normal” through the care work of nurses as well as public health and workplace measures to combat the pandemic.

Two nurses sitting on floor in hallway

Moral Injury and PTSD in the Nursing Profession

This CE class will describe how the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the stress inherent in the registered nurse’s role within the current for-profit health care system. The class will explore the critical stressors, both acute and chronic, facing the profession and offer solutions to mitigate those stressors.

Post-Exposure Isolation Period for Omicron SARS-CoV-2 Variant

This scientific brief outlines the incubation period and what nurses and other health care workers should do when exposed to Covid-19.

OSHA Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

Learn what is now required under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.

Covid Testing and Screening in Health Care Settings

This brief goes over a science-driven approach to protecting nurses and other health care workers, our patients, and public health.

Nurse Advocacy Network

The NNU Nurse Advocacy Network is a community of activists who are ready to mobilize to ensure that nurses and other front line health care workers have the protections and safety standards they need to care for patients.

Research and Reports

Button on nurses chest reads "Safe Staffing Saves Lives"

Protecting Our Front Line: Ending the Shortage of Good Nursing Jobs and the Industry-created Unsafe Staffing Crisis

In this report, National Nurses United describes how the hospital industry has driven registered nurses from the profession.

Nurse holding sign "Workplace violence put everyone at risk"

Workplace Violence and Covid-19 in Health Care: How the Hospital Industry Created an Occupational Syndemic

This report details stark evidence of how the dual failures of health care employers to protect nurses and patients from Covid-19 and workplace violence synergistically interact to amplify the harms caused by each individually.

Nurses outside Capitol Building hold vigil for fallen nurses

Deadly Shame: Redressing the Devaluation of Registered Nurse Labor Through Pandemic Equity

This white paper provides context and history for why moral distress and moral injury are happening to the most trusted profession in the United States.

Press Releases

NNU urged OSHA to issue permanent standard to protect health care workers from Covid and make improvements to the temporary standard.
Hospital RNs also reported that their hospitals are still not adequately prepared for a Covid-19 surge. National Nurses United calls on Congress to pass federal safe staffing legislation.
Sutter Health RNs and health care workers have been in negotiations since June 2021 for a new contract, with little to no movement on key issues.
NNU argued today before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on behalf of leading national labor organizations and unions representing nurses and health care workers.