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Washington State Nurses Association Announces Formation of a New National Nurses Union
Date:4/15/2009

SEATTLE, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA), the oldest and largest nurses union representing more than 15,000 RNs in Washington State, is a founding member of the National Federation of Nurses (NFN) and is playing a leadership role as the new national nurses union launches. With a structure and organization that is unique on the national level, the NFN is a democratic and collaborative organization that provides WSNA and other member state nurses associations with an unparalleled opportunity to promote the interests of registered nurses, the nursing profession and patients.

"The NFN is truly different," said WSNA President and newly elected NFN Secretary, Kim Armstrong, BSN,RNC, "It is an innovative way of ensuring America's nurses have a strong, clear voice in the decisions that impact their lives, their working conditions, and the care of their patients. WSNA is proud to be a democratic organization driven by our members and we are truly excited to be a founding member and leader in the creation of a national nurses union built on the principles of equality and democracy among members."

The NFN represents nearly 70,000 registered nurses nationwide, with Washington joining state nurses associations in Montana, New Jersey, New York and Oregon in the founding of the new union. In addition to playing a key role in the creation and development of the organization, WSNA will also be represented in the ongoing governance of NFN. In addition to NFN Secretary Armstrong, the current Chair of the WSNA Cabinet on Economic & General Welfare, Jeanne Avey, RN, will serve as one of twelve elected directors on the NFN National Executive Board.

NFN Director Jeanne Avey, RN said, "We need a stronger voice for nurses now more than ever. With discussions about meaningful healthcare reform and workers rights underway on the national level, nurses' unique perspectives and expertise must be represented. As a strong, collaborative organization that will be accountable to our members, NFN will provide a powerful platform for nurses to have their voices heard."

"The NFN will bring us a greater opportunity to impact the issues affecting nurses, the nursing profession and quality patient care on the national level. The formation of the NFN is a great accomplishment, and I look forward to the work ahead as we strengthen the staff nurses' voice in the national labor agenda," said WSNA Executive Director Judy Huntington, MN, RN.

Through a collaborative process involving representatives from all founding member states, the NFN has developed governing documents for a ground breaking constitutional structure. In contrast to the structure of more traditional national unions, the NFN is focused on ensuring that each member state has a powerful voice in the decision making process while still allowing member states to maintain their sovereignty.

"The NFN gives WSNA a national voice on Labor issues and the opportunity to work collaboratively with other nurses unions in a way we never have," said WSNA Director of Labor Relations Barbara E. Frye, BSN, RN. "I am very proud that WSNA has been a leader in creating this new national union of RNs. The NFN will be a strong and uniting force for registered nurses across the country."

Founded in 1908, WSNA is the professional organization representing more than 15,000 registered nurses in Washington State. WSNA effectively advocates for the improvement of health standards and availability of quality health care for all people; promotes high standards for the nursing profession; and advances the professional and economic development of nurses.


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SOURCE Washington State Nurses Association
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