Press Release

Nation’s largest nurses union stands in solidarity with campus protesters facing crackdowns and arrests

Large group of nurses outside Capitol building, NNU logo

Nurses represented by National Nurses United (NNU), the country’s largest union of registered nurses, stand in solidarity with student and faculty protesters at campuses across the United States facing a violent crackdown for speaking out against the mass killings and public health catastrophe in Gaza. Amid the on-going Israeli military campaign that has killed, injured, and displaced tens of thousands of Gazan civilians, nurses remain steadfast in our belief in the human rights to health, safety, free speech, collective action, and protest. NNU has called for and still calls for a permanent and lasting ceasefire in Gaza and the swift delivery of humanitarian aid in Palestine.

Nurses condemn the decisions made by university administrators to respond to protests with police violence, intimidation, and repression. The rapid deployment of state-sanctioned violent force in response to these peaceful protests is an incredibly troubling sign of how these administrators respond to collective action and protest, which are essential for the exercise of free speech rights and labor rights on campuses and all workplaces, especially in a political atmosphere of broader, increasingly anti-democratic authoritarianism. 

Union nurses know the importance of collective action and protest, which have been fundamental to the trade union movement and to all struggles for justice throughout history. We condemn any efforts to criminalize or restrict these protests. Violent crackdowns to suppress protected free speech are at odds with nurses’ values to speak up and speak out when something is wrong and people are hurting or dying because of it.

Nurses in the United States continue to mourn the lives lost to this violence during and since October 7 and we condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of bigotry on college campuses, in our hospitals, and in our communities. 

As nurses and as a union, NNU calls for an immediate ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aid, release of all hostages, and an end to this violence. We urge all parties to protect human life and the health and wellbeing of civilians in both Israel and Palestine.

National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide. NNU affiliates include California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, DC Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and New York State Nurses Association.