Information about the Million Nurse March
Board of Directors: Michele Jansen RN, Florida Helen Cook RN, Michigan Cheryl Worden LPN, Arkansas Ron Phelps RN BSN Virginia–Mar 1, 2001
The Million Nurse March came into being as a discussion on a nursing website. That discussion than became a growing idea. Eventually that idea became an organization. We are now a growing organization of nurses from varied and diverse backgrounds and educations. It is the thought of this organization that massive changes in nursing and in how healthcare is delivered must be made. It is up to nurses to prompt those changes. Nurses are the true patient advocates, and in order to do so we must advocate for ourselves. To do this effectively the thought is to bring all nurses together. Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Certified Nurse Assistants. Each one of us makes up the important bedside team, and without us healthcare would not exist. We believe that each component of the bedside team have practice acts and certification limits that must be followed to enhance appropriate patient care, and that it is inappropriate for administrators that are not licensed bedside caregivers to put any of us into positions that demand otherwise.
It is the vision of the Million Nurse March that the diverse voices within the field need to come together under one banner, with common ground. The Million Nurse March is the vehicle in which that can occur. We invite all organizations that have nurses within their membership to pool resources together to make this vision a reality.
We invite all others that are concerned about patient care and the state of healthcare to join with us. Other healthcare workers, advocacy groups, physicians, educators and public citizens. All who are concerned and feel that they can endorse and support the tenets of this organization are welcome to participate. We offer the caveat that our platform is a nursing advocacy platform that will also enhance patient care and other individual agendas cannot come in front of that.
Our platform is for federal legislation on these specific issues
- Nationwide staff to patient ratios based on patient acuity; in every area that nursing care is provided. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics etc…
- National legislation that prohibits the use of mandatory overtime that will protect all bedside caregivers.
- National legislation that will put enforceable and strong whistleblower protections into place for all healthcare workers.
- National legislation that will prohibit the performance of skilled nursing functions by unlicensed staff.
- Restrictions on unsafe floating practices.
- Appropriate monetary compensation for skills and science based knowledge.
Without which patient care suffers.
This platform addresses the working conditions that are poorly impacting all nursing care across the country. It is the working conditions that have prompted the mass exodus of nurses from the bedside. This platform addresses retention issues.
The other side of the platform must address recruitment issues. As a profession we must bury the negativity that has run rampant through our ranks. Encourage young persons to pursue entry level nursing programs, support increased funding for those that pursue nursing programs as well as increased funding and other support programs that will allow those that wish to pursue the higher education opportunities of the field.
We need to value, respect and celebrate those that work strictly at the bedside. We need to encourage the healthcare industry to acknowledge that bedside nursing care is the bedrock on which healthcare rests, on which good patients outcomes are impossible without. We need to educate the public regarding what nurses do and how we affect the outcomes of every patient we come in contact with. We also have to acknowledge and effectively deal with the dynamics that encourage and perpetuate the mentality of “eating our young” be that the new graduate, or the experienced nurse that is new to a different field of practice. We must quit setting fires in our own house.
The Million Nurse March, has set aside two days in which to address our issues to our national legislators. May 10, 2002 for meeting with legislators that are willing to sit down and listen to our concerns, and May 11, 2002 for a March and rally to protest the treatment of nurses by the healthcare industry, highlighting how that treatment has directly impacted and exacerbated the nursing shortage. This time will also be used to educate the public and media as to what nurses do day after day, how what we do has a direct effect on patient care outcomes and to celebrate our profession for the joys it can give us as well as the care and compassion it can give others.
Please join us in this worthwhile endeavor. Working together we will have a tremendous impact on our lives and the care of our patients.
Nurses and other health care workers have an ethical duty and a professional responsibility to act in the best interests of their patients at all times.
Limited health care resources and finances produce budgetary constraints that directly affect the health care practitioners ability to provide appropriate and necessary health care services. Overuse of the practitioners time and energy brought on by those budgetary constraints put – YOU – the health care consumer at risk.
Founded in 2000, the Million Nurse March was a national grassroots organization that evolved to focus on:
- informing the public about inherent dangers in the methods of delivering health care at the time.
- communicating a need for change in health care delivery through the concept of a ‘million voices’.
- offering viable alternatives for the administration of health care.
The organization has come and gone, but with this website we aim to continue to provide valuable information to those interested in joining the nursing profession or currently working as a nurse. This site will provide information for CNAs, RNs and LNPs including training, testing, job resources and salary information. Over time we will expand this site to provide more and more resources so stay tuned.
MILLION NURSE MARCH statement by Julie
We need nursing students to know whats going on & be prepared to fight for our profession…… here is a letter that I wrote for a press release. It is being distributed nation-wide by the group in all media forums.
Message from Nurses across the U.S about Million Nurse March:
During National Nurse’s Week, in May 2001, we, Nurses from all over the United States, will be taking matters into our own hands on behalf of both you (the public), and ourselves, by marching on Washington DC and our State Capitols across the nation in protest over the state of healthcare in this country.,,,,,
This is a grass-roots effort by Nurses to bring national attention to the crisis the Nursing profession and direct-patient-care are in, as hospital administrators attempt to increase their profits by pushing Nurses into extinction.,,,,,,,,,,
There is something very wrong when hospital administrators are earning millions of dollars each, while at the same time hospital floors are closing down because the administrators wont spend the money to hire enough Nurses. They are collecting millions in salary and perks, while refusing to purchase enough supplies with which to care for the patients. Patients are being discharged sooner and sicker because they cost the hospital money to remain there,,,,,,,,,,,,.
In healthcare facilites across the country, nurses are being forced to care for too large a number of patients and are unable to provide them with all they need in the hospital. Too often there are only moments to spend with each patient because of the heavy workload the nurse is forced to accept, many times under protest, and with threat of disciplinary action hanging over her/his head if they refuse to accept this unsafe situation.,,,,,,,,,,,
As cost-cutting measures that save the hospital money and increase its profits, Professional Nurses are being replaced by other personnel such as nursing assistants. In some institutions medications are prepared and given by technicians rather than skilled Nurses. Nurses are being forced to work short-staffed and for excessive overtime hours under threat of being fired if they dont…. just because its cheaper than hiring additional permanent staff nurses.,,,,,,,,,,,,
WE ARE FRIGHTENED FOR OUR PATIENTS!!!
Unable to bear the stress and strain, Nurses are leaving their jobs in droves and are also leaving the profession of Nursing because of these unmanageable conditions. There are not enough new Nurses to replace us. Who will be there at your bedside to care for you (and us) in later years?,,,,,,,,,,
We want to make the public aware that these workplace issues are contributing to a decline in the quality of care you receive in the hospital. You deserve excellent Nursing care but with short-staffing and forced overtime, that is extremely difficult for us to provide. Short staffing and the excessive use of forced overtime which has Nurses regularly working 16 hour shifts or more, is a very dangerous practice. In fact, working excessive hours like that is against the law for truck drivers and pilots. Yet Nurses, who also hold the public’s safety in their hands, are forced to work to exhaustion or be punished. Exhausted workers in any field are vulnerable to making a mistake. In Nursing, a mistake can have tragic and lasting effects………..
WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS SITUATION ANY LONGER!!!
These deplorable workplace conditions are main reasons why new students are not choosing Nursing as a career, and experienced Nurses are leaving the profession for good……….
The Nurses of this country… YOUR Nurses… are outraged over their employer’s careless disregard for your safety and the quality of care the Nurses themselves are able to provide under these circumstances……..
We are going to Washington DC and our State Capitols in May, 2001 to let the public know what is really happening at their hospitals across the country and to demand that our elected officials hear our voice and take action to put the patient before profits and protect the profession of Nursing………..
To do this we need your help………….
The reason for Million Nurse March is simple:
You know us. We’re your friends, neighbors, and family members. We’ve seen you through some of the the worst of times and we have been there for you every step of the way. Many of us are still there with you, providing your care at home. We want to continue to be there for you. We do not want to see the profession of Nursing die out…………
If we disappear, so does the quality of patient care. We…. you and the Nurses… are in this together………….
We are asking your help. March with us in DC or with your Nurses at your State Capitol. If you cannot walk with us, please contact your elected State Officials, and Congressional Representatives…………
Your speaking out on the risk to patient safety due to abusive management practices against the Nurses – all to save a dollar at your expense – will help us put a stop to this… will protect you during your hospital stay and will help take the Nursing Profession off the Critical List…………
Please let us know if you will help…………
Thank you for your support.
From your Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses across America. ************
For more information about Million Nurse March on the current nursing crisis and the situation today’s nurses and patients are in, please contact:
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United American Nurses
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