Michigan Nurses Association affiliates with National Nurses United, growing the largest, most active organization of direct-care registered nurses in the United States
The Michigan Nurses Association board of directors voted to join as an affiliate of National Nurses United, growing the largest and most active organization of direct-care registered nurses in the United States at a time when unity among nurses is needed more than ever, announced National Nurses United.
"We are so excited to welcome our Michigan colleagues into National Nurses United," said Bonnie Castillo, RN and executive director of NNU. "Covid-19 has shown us not only that nurses across the country are facing the exact same issues and dangers at work, but also that our nursing solidarity is everything. Our unity and strength in numbers is the key to winning any and all protections for ourselves, for our patients, and for our communities."
“Solidarity is more important now than ever before,” said Jamie Brown, RN, president of the Michigan Nurses Association. “Health care executives and D.C. politicians continue to ignore the voice of those of us on the front lines while the pandemic only gets worse. It is time for nurses to unite and fight back.”
The Michigan Nurses Association’s approximate 13,000 members will join with the Minnesota Nurses Association, the District of Columbia Nurses Association, the California Nurses Association, and National Nurses Organizing Committee to make NNU now 170,000 strong.
“We’ve always been good neighbors, but we’re glad Michigan nurses are now officially part of the family,” said Jean Ross, a Minnesota RN and president of NNU. “We are all really looking forward to what we can accomplish together.”
NNU has been the leading national advocate for both union and nonunion nurses during this Covid-19 pandemic, calling from the beginning on elected officials, government health agencies, employers, and the public to follow the science and adopt the precautionary principle by always erring on the side of safety in responding to this novel virus.
“We are thrilled to have more Midwest representation with Michigan Nurses Association joining us in NNU,” said Mary Turner, RN and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “We are so happy to welcome MNA and know that when nurses stick together, we can get most anything done.”
The group has been tireless at the federal, state, municipal, and facility levels in demanding the country practice proper infection control for Covid-19, including providing optimal personal protective equipment for nurses and other health care workers; testing of all patients and health care workers; proper isolation and cohorting of Covid-positive and potentially positive patients; and a host of other public and workplace policies that allow exposed workers to safely quarantine at home without fear of income or job loss in order to stop the spread of the virus.
“In this year of the nurse, it’s fitting that more of our country’s nurses are joining forces,” said Edward J. Smith, DCNA executive director. DCNA. “We would like to extend our hands and hearts to the Michigan nurses and are so happy they have become our latest affiliate.”
NNU has also been demanding that the president invoke the Defense Production Act to domestically produce needed PPE and for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt an emergency temporary standard on infectious diseases to protect workers. Both provisions are included in the HEROES Act, which has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, but over which the Senate and President Trump refuse to negotiate.
Recognizing that nurses across the country face the same issues as they struggle to advocate for themselves and their patients in a money-driven, corporate health care industry, NNU works on the national level for federal reforms to nursing and health care, including safe limits on the number of patients that can be assigned to one RN (staffing ratios), regulations to prevent workplace violence, and adoption of a Medicare for All health coverage program that will guarantee all people in the United States receive health care. The country’s desperate need for such a system has never been more evident than during this Covid-19 pandemic.
“When nurses get together with other nurses, only good things can happen,” said Zenei Cortez, RN and a president of NNU. “Michigan nurses joining us is a recipe for success!”
“This is wonderful news and should put all bad employers and wimpy government agencies on notice: Nurses are banding together like never before and we are ready to take you on,” added Deborah Burger, RN and president of NNU.
National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States, with more than 170,000 members nationwide.