Friday, March 17, 2006

Chicago Nurses Do something ambiguous


CHICAGO—Registered nurses in the Chicago area are joining nurses from across the country to advocate for real solutions to the nation’s patient care crisis. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced the launch of the new Nurse Alliance of SEIU, a distinct national membership organization by, for and of nurses. The Nurse Alliance of SEIU also announced the launch of a national campaign, Value Care, Value Nurses, focusing on improving the quality patient care and bringing nurses back to the bedside.

Today the Nurse Alliance of SEIU also released a white paper by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), emphasizing the importance of registered nurses in the delivery of quality patient care and the ways in which poor conditions in hospitals are devaluing these worthy caregivers. The paper cites low pay, short staffing, and mandatory overtime as conditions that have caused nurses to leave the bedside and shows how raising nurse salaries will help to draw more nurses to the profession.

“Over 83,000 registered nurses chose to leave the bedside right here in Illinois. It is time that we start addressing the real reasons and commit to real solutions to bring them back. The future of patient care and the nursing profession both depend on it,” said Karen Backus, RN, Director of the Nurse Alliance of SEIU-Illinois.

The IWPR report found that, nationally, 35 percent of employed nurses who are not working in nursing are in positions of higher pay and 46 percent of them find better hours in other work environments.

In the spirit of unity, the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) and the Nurse Alliance of SEIU-Illinois will be convening a round table of registered nurses with area legislators and other officials on Monday, April 3rd to discuss possible solutions to the nursing crisis.

“There is a 9% RN vacancy rate in our state, and we as nurses know why RNs are leaving the bedside and what it is going to take to keep them there. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss it with legislators,” said Sandra Robinson, RN, who works at the Chicago Department of Public Health and chairs the INA E&GW Commission.

Parties interested in the April 3rd event should contact Karen Backus at 312.235.4739 for more information.

For more information about the Value Care, Value Nurses campaign, go to:
Nurse Alliance Midwest
Value Care Value Nurses

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