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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Announcing The Support of RNs Working Together AFL-CIO For Office of the National Nurse Initiative

The Board of Directors of the National Nursing Network Organization is pleased to announce RNs Working Together voted during their most recent Executive Council meeting to fully support the Office of the National Nurse initiative. We would like to thank the leadership body of this important organization for recognizing the enormous potential an Office of the National Nurse will have on improving the health of the nation and elevating the nursing profession.

RNs Working Together is the largest organization of working registered nurses in the United States, with nearly one-quarter of a million members. "As a nurse and a union leader, I believe that creating the Office of a National Nurse is a good way to enhance nursing recruitment and support policies that strengthen nursing education and practice," says JNESO Executive Director Virginia Treacy, RN.

March 18, 2009

Teri Mills MS, RN, ANP, CNE
National Nursing Network Organization

RE: Office of the National Nurse (ONN) Endorsement

Dear Ms. Mills,

RNs Working Together is America's largest organization of working registered nurses, with nearly one-quarter of a million members from 10 AFL-CIO unions.

We unite the collective energy and strength of our members to promote the role of registered nurse as the patient advocate in the workplace, highlight the skills and value of working nurses and push a legislative agenda that advances the cause of safe, quality patient care. We believe in fighting for a health care system that serves everyone.

No one understands better than our nurse members that we can’t fix our economy until we fix our broken health care system. At the same time, nurses will tell you that reform is not just about number crunching and corporate power struggles — it’s also about improving primary care services by integrating disease prevention strategies. Our health care system should empower and encourage nurses to educate and counsel patients about the importance of simple preventative measures. Together, we need to foster a culture of prevention.

That’s why RNs Working Together supports the concept of creating an Office of the National Nurse. We believe that elevating the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service to full-time status and renaming this position as the National Nurse is a way to promote the visibility of nurses in the national health care debate and give nurses another voice at the federal policy table.

Working nurses know how important it is to have a voice — both at the federal policy level and on the local health care delivery level. Everyday, staff nurses in our country use their powerful union voice to bring attention to unsafe staffing levels, and other problems that negatively affect patient outcomes. Joining a union gives nurses the protection and resources they need to be effective patient advocates. When nurses join unions, they pull up a seat at the table.

As union nurses, we are happy to lend our collective voice towards this effort because when nurses have a voice, patients get better care.


Steve Francy
Executive Director
RNs Working Together, AFL-CIO

For more information about RNs Working Together, please see our website at:

The working nurses of RNs Working Together are affiliated with the following AFL-CIO unions:

American Federation of Government Employees
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Federation of Teachers
California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
Communications Workers of America
JNESO/Operating Engineers
Office and Professional Employees International Union
United American Nurses
United Auto Workers
United Steelworkers

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Tuesday, March 24, 2009  

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