2011 Nurses Day Message

12 May

Florence Nightingale is considered the founder of the modern nursing profession, and May 12 is the 191st anniversary of her birth.  We nurses celebrate her today, while many others make this day one of honor for the nurses who’ve touched their lives.

Florence wouldn’t be celebrating today.  She’d be out on a protest line somewhere.  In fact, she led the first recorded nurses’ strike in history when she refused to let her charges disembark their boat until hospital working conditions were cleaned to her satisfaction. 

As a fierce advocate for human dignity, Florence Nightingale fought entrenched forces dedicated to oppressing the masses.  Her crusade for the advancement of public health measures are credited for improving and saving the lives of millions of people all over the world.  The foundations of her innovations are being used to protect the global health of citizens still today.  She fought and won against big money interests determined to use public waterways as their own sewers. 

She’d be right at home in Madison and on the lines with us last summer as we picketed against corporate attacks on our practice – and the safety of our patients. 

Today, the 20,000 members of the Minnesota Nurses Association and our 175,000 colleagues nationwide of National Nurses United are proud to carry her lamp of courage and determination.  We are shining a bright light on the destructive interests that are assaulting our values of dignity and fairness.  Today, we are speaking up on behalf of the American people who deserve a Main Street Contract to fight Wall Street profiteers. 

The Main Street Contract is nurses who are leading a movement to strengthen the working families of America.  We are standing on the front lines to advance the basic values of nursing practice and human dignity:  Jobs at living wages; equal access to quality education; guaranteed health care for all; a secure retirement; the right to collectively organize and bargain; good housing and protection from hunger; a safe, clean and healthy environment; a just taxation system; restoring the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You will see us in the streets and in the halls where laws are made.  In the media and at neighborhood gatherings, we are advocating for our patients, families and the very soul of our society.

Happy birthday, Florence.  

Linda Hamilton, RN
Minnesota Nurses Association

    Five Other Things Florence Might Do If She Were Alive Today:

Join the Nurses’ Main Street Contract for the American People

Stay updated  on MNA Facebook, MNA Blog, NNU Facebook, Protest in the USA, Nurse Talk Radio 

Enforce your contract rights – complete Concern for Safe Staffing Forms online

Send letters to legislators and/or media at MNA’s Grassroots Action Center

Talk to neighbors and friends

4 Responses to “2011 Nurses Day Message”

  1. Barb May 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Florence would turn over in her grave if she saw how we nurses have been treated since last summer. So much for committees to address unsafe staffing, has anyone heard of these committees? Nothing’s changed except that we are now being treated worse than ever by management and, NO ONE CARES! As far as unsafe staffing reports go, they go into the circular file just like they always have and we’ve never heard from anyone after filling them out. A waste of our time.
    Now, the latest, we are not trained for anything; just given a half piece of paper with instructions on how to train ourselves. How professional! Happy Birthday anyhow, Florence!

    • mnnurses May 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      Barb I so hear your frustration on all fronts! I’m happy to tell you our new online concern for safe staffing form (http://www.mnnurses.org/myshiftisunsafe) is already making a big difference and that you’re going to be seeing a HUGE public push by MNA nurses in the coming weeks using the data and stories from these forms. I know things are worse than ever – we are hearing the same thing over and over from MNA RNs all over the state. But the fight is just beginning anew this spring/summer, and trust me when I say we’re going to be taking it directly to the hospitals in a very public way and VERY soon. Hang in there and keep filling out the new online form – it makes a HUGE difference!

  2. Barb May 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    I didn’t know about the on-line form, I’ve been using the old standard form and getting nowhere. Thank you.

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