Unionization offers different opportunities for nurses to obtain support and guidance regarding a variety of issues which impact the profession. Nurses who are union members must meet all responsibilities of the profession as required, advocate for their patients to meet their needs, and collaborate in teams to accomplish the goals and objectives of nursing practice (Manthous, 2014). However, they also have the opportunity to express their views in a safe manner because they are protected by the union, and they can advocate for themselves and members of the profession when they have concerns that require the support of the union (Manthous, 2014). Although nurses in unions may have additional support, they are nonetheless responsible for making ethically responsible decisions on behalf of their patients to promote improved health, safety, and quality of care. For organizations with Magnet status, unions provide a means of expanded collaboration to meet the requirements of this designation, thereby enabling nurses to recognize their responsibilities to improve the practice setting and to achieve excellence in patient care (Johnson & Billingsley, 2014).
A nursing union within an organization provides an opportunity to express concerns, share grievances, and advocate for causes which are important to the profession; furthermore, nurses have a much larger voice within the healthcare community and are likely to be recognized for the work that they perform (Manthous, 2014). It is imperative that nurses who are union members communicate their concerns as necessary, become active members to engage others, and to recognize the importance of their leadership in facilitating issues such as fair compensation, fair treatment in the workplace, and strengthening the nursing workforce through increased professional responsibility and skill development, all of which will engage nurses in meeting the goals and expectations of the profession at a high level (Ash, Seago, & Spetz, 2014).
- Ash, M., Seago, J. A., & Spetz, J. (2014). What do Health Care Unions do?: A Response to Manthous. Medical care, 52(5), 393-397.
- Johnson, J. E., & Billingsley, M. (2014, October). Convergence: How Nursing Unions and Magnet are Advancing Nursing. In Nursing forum (Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 225-232).
- Manthous, C. A. (2014). Labor Unions in Medicine: The Intersection of Patient Advocacy and Self-advocacy. Medical care, 52(5), 387-392.