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New National Nurses Union Could Exert More Pressure on State, National Health Care Policy

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, the Massachusetts Nurses Association and United American Nurses recently voted to form a joint association called the National Nurses Union.

The group, which counts 150,000 registered nurses among its ranks, plans to advocate for better working conditions, reduced patient-to-nurse ratios and whistle-blower protections.

In a California Healthline Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy, experts discussed how the new union could affect labor relations in California hospitals.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Deborah Burger, president of CNA and one of the three presidents of NNU; and
  • Harley Shaiken, a UC-Berkeley professor who specializes in labor issues.

Despite some differences of opinion, the nurses union and hospital chains both are urging policymakers to increase funding for health worker training programs (Kennedy, California Healthline, 12/15).

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