The Unionization of Nurses
Just like professionals in other occupations, nurses have the right to unionize to achieve collective bargaining. Nurses are much more likely to have better working conditions if they operate together under the framework of a union. It is worth noting that unions have the negotiating strength and power for their contracts and the improvement of their members’ working conditions (Malvey, 2010). Based on the reality of unions making the working conditions for the nurses better, the caregivers would be highly motivated and better placed to provide the highest quality of care to their patients. While the unions might not address all the nurses’ concerns, they can impact the most important aspects of their well-being.
Through unionization, nurses can have an impact that goes beyond their work conditions. They are better placed, working collectively, to impact the laws regulating healthcare environments and facilities. Nurses have a central place in ensuring the safety of their working environment for their good and that of their patients (Malvey, 2010). Therefore, with the power of the numbers and the security offered by being members of unions, nurses have higher opportunities to positively impact the workplace culture of safety.
The MSN Essential related to the unionization of the nurses is Organizational and Systems Leadership. The patient’s high quality of care and safety emanates from the nurses taking up their role as leaders in their organizations (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013). As members of unions, nurses are empowered to become more effective in decision-making and ethical practice. In addition, they can establish working relationships as they collaborate for the benefit of their patients. Hence, to achieve this essential role for nurses, it is critical for them to utilize the opportunities of a union.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013). The essentials of Master’s education in nursing.
Malvey, D. (2010). Unionization in healthcare: Background and trends. Journal of Healthcare Management, 55(3), 154-157.