It’s Official!

For the last two days, e-mails and photos have been flying from Phoenix to Okemos. The 2009 National Nurses United (NNU) Founding Convention was in full swing Monday and Tuesday, December 7 and 8.

Here’s the highlights:

On Monday, December 7, the delegates from the California Nurses Assocation/National Nurses Organizing Committee, Massachusetts Nurses Association and United American Nurses voted unanimously to form the National Nurses United (NNU). The NNU is now the largest union and professional organization for RNs in the United States.

The delegates then adopted a constitution and elected national officers. Former MNA President Diane Goddeeris will serve as a Vice President on the new leadership team. Three co-presidents were elected: (left to right) Karen Higgins from Massachusetts, Jean Ross from Minnesota and Deborah Burger of California.

The delegates attended plenary sessions in the afternoon. Krista Papow, a Michigan Nursing Students Association Board member, presented the nursing student view of NNU and was warmly received with a standing ovation.

Today, NNU took to the streets for its first public action, targeting the Arizona Hospital Association for its treatment of nurses and the use of union-busting activities.

The NNU plans to move quickly to:

  • Advance the interests of direct care nurses and patients across the U.S.
  • Organize all direct care RNs “into a single organization capable of exercising influence over the healthcare industry, governments, and employers.”
  • Promote effective collective bargaining representation to all NNU affiliates to promote the economic and professional interests of all direct care RNs.
  • Expand the voice of direct care RNs and patients in public policy, including the enactment of safe nurse-to-patient ratios and patient advocacy rights in Congress and every state.
  • Win “healthcare justice, accessible, quality healthcare for all, as a human right.”

Jeff Breslin, MNA President, said it best – “There are a few things in history that really stand out and make a difference, this is one of them.” Exciting times!

Want to learn more? Go to www.minurses.org and click on the “National Nurses United” button. If you’re a MNA Facebook fan, there are photos posted on the page that were sent from MNA members and staff during the Convention. Want to fan us? Go to www.facebook.com/minurses.

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