Nursing: Collective Bargaining In Nursing

Collective Bargaining in Current Nursing As professional healthcare workers, nurses are accountable for providing care to a diverse culture of patients that come in with an array of medical problems. That care is essentially guided by the trust and rapport with the patients. Nurses are also entrusted to be patient advocates, however, who advocates for the nurse? Simply, the nurses themselves are able to do so through collective bargaining. In the earlier decades, nurses didn’t have much power as physicians, but because more and more people are urging to gain equal rights in the workplace, there are laws put in place to bolster the strength of lower ranking jobs to campaign for more rights regarding the workplace setting. So what is collective …show more content…
Following World War 2, unsanitary and dangerous work environment, inadequate wages, and the need for more working nurses brought about a nursing shortage. The American Nurses Association along with the State Nurses Association stood to advocate for registered nurses at a state and national level. The National Labor Relations Act, also known as the Wagner Act gives nurses the right to form unions and bargain collectively (Huston, 2014). Throughout the decades, critical shortages appeared due to economic fluctuations, especially when it is on the upside. When these collective bargaining efforts were prevented or restricted, there are times in history where mass resignation or absences occur. All of this has brought more attention to the deserving field. It is relevant to current trends because unions are available to nurses to join in hopes of alleviating the grievances in their direct workplace. Healthcare has now turned away from patient care and more towards business models and profit margins resulting in lack of resources for nurses to work safely, efficiently, and …show more content…
Simple. Unions are created to essentially give nurses more power to voice out concerns for the safety and health of their patients and themselves. Once an agreement is reached, positive results can be seen in nursing. Any nurse can talk to management about issues that they have in hopes that it can be resolved. There are sets of procedures that one can go through, known as the grievance process, which specify steps and time limits for resolution. Many nurses don’t work under a collective bargaining agreement. It appears that collective bargaining plays a role into the clinical setting. Nurses are hugely involved with the decision making process of any health facility. In hospitals, collective bargain increases staff to patient ratios, increase wages, contribute to higher staff and patient satisfaction, and increase the autonomy of the nurse. Collective bargaining affects nursing practice based on the level of education and degree the nurse has. Most, if not all, nurses who hold management or administrator roles do not qualify for unions and moving up from being in a union to not can be conflicting as management does not regard a nurse’s

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