New, massive nurses union holds founding convention

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National Nurses United, the newly formed, major union for nurses, held its inaugural meeting Monday. Delegates to the founding convention elected officers and adopted a constitution.

The 150,000-member group is the largest single representative of direct care registered nurses in the country.  Plans to create the union have been in the works since at least February, when members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, the United American Nurses, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association announced their respective unions would merge. Three co-presidents were elected at the meeting: Karen Higgins, former president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association; Minnesota Nurses Association President Linda Hamilton, RN; and Deborah Burger, RN of CNA/NNOC.

The goals set out for NNU at their charter meeting include advancing the interests of direct care nurses and patients across the U.S., winning healthcare justice, accessible, quality healthcare for all as a human right, and promoting effective collective bargaining representation to all NNU affiliates.