Leadership for Public Education

Advertorial: Unionized Nurses Lead the Way in Delivering Quality Patient Care

This HealthCare-PSEA Advertorial will appear in newspapers across Pennsylvania in May 2011.

National Nurses Week, May 6-12, is a time to reflect on what nurses contribute to the health care profession each and every day.

We trust our nurses. Year after year, national polls indicate that people value and respect nurses, and associate the highest levels of integrity with the nursing profession. Over the years, nursing has made great strides and has become a cornerstone for patient care advocacy.

Vulnerable, hospitalized patients experience firsthand the value of nurses who take the time to reassure them and their families, demonstrating in a myriad of ways—with just a simple touch or a smile—the compassion they bring to their jobs on a daily basis.

We appreciate the respect and dignity nurses and health care workers provide for their patients. We value the clinical expertise and specialized training our nurses bring to the delivery of health care.

Statistics show that this valued profession is losing experienced nurses to stress and because of working conditions that make it difficult to meet their goal of providing safe, quality patient care. Nationally, collective bargaining has led to improvements in hospitals where short staffing, inadequate resources, and the development and enforcement of patient care policies have been addressed. Research shows that patient outcomes are improved in hospitals with adequate staffing. Nurses who work in unionized hospitals recognize the difference in their work environments; these nurses have a voice in patient care and the support of an entire organization dedicated to helping them help others. With PSEA, they are a part of both an Association and a union. 

HealthCare-PSEA continues fighting to represent the individual rights of our health care workers and to provide a strong, collective voice in improving working conditions, and patient care delivery in Pennsylvania’s hospitals. Please thank the nurses and health care workers you know or encounter for the many contributions they make to ensure our health and safety. 

If you are interested in a recession-proof job that is personally rewarding, consider a job in a community hospital or health care facility.  Registered nursing is the fastest-growing profession in the country, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

This puts the spotlight on the importance of nurses to our communities, our economy – and our families. With health care reform at center stage in the national debate, the voice of health care professionals must be heard and respected.

Nurses know what it takes to provide quality patient care, but bureaucratic red tape can impact our ability to do our jobs. This is why one of the fastest growing segments of the union movement is health care professionals and nurses.

By unionizing, health care workers are empowered to bargain and lobby to improve patient care. Health care unions also force hospital administrators and legislators to listen and respond to critical issues such as setting reasonable nurse-patient ratios; limiting mandatory overtime and providing practical professional development. 
For the past decade, members of the Bucks County Nurses Association, HealthCare PSEA/AFT have bargained provisions to improve working conditions and salaries, which help to attract and retain the best quality workers to our community.

 While the politicians argue about the details of health care reform, unionized health care professionals are using our collective voice to ensure that the safety and welfare of our community residents are a top priority.

The week of May 6 is National Nurses Week. This year’s theme, “Caring Today for A Healthier Tomorrow” exemplifies nurses’ caring commitment to their patients and to the profession – be it at the bedside, at the bargaining table or in the hall of Congress. Please take time this week to thank our unionized nurses for their dedication to our community.