Labor unions have existed since time immemorial for workers in various industries. According to Cox, Willis and Coustasse’s 2014 article, it was not until the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recognized the right of medical workers to join and participate in the activities of such unions. Hospital workers, especially nurses, enjoy benefits such as a right to collective bargaining from joining such organizations. They also enjoy the right to participate in activities with their co-workers for their mutual benefit and protection.
Nursing associations face a number of issues, the major one being lack of support, especially from governments. This is especially with regards to shortage of nurses and turnover problems. Nursing associations have been fighting for the increase in employment of registered nurses. Research has shown that the fight for more employed nurses is due to lack of motivation of the nurses who are currently employed. They suffer chronic pains, fatigue and exhaustion due to understaffing and longer working hours. In the long run, this results into poor services to the patients as these nurses struggle to meet the ever increasing demand for healthcare (Cox, Willis and Coustasse, 2014).. Poor working conditions have also increased the high turnover rates. Medical institutions are unable to keep employees for long periods due to job dissatisfaction.
Possible solutions and policy suggestions made by nursing associations include monetary incentives by the healthcare institutions that offer them employment. For example, creating good working conditions and non-monetary incentives such as motivating the existing employees should be done in order to reduce the turnover rate (Cox, Willis and Coustasse, 2014). Nursing associations should work together with the government, both state and federal, to subsidize costs which healthcare institutions will incur when they implement these reforms.
Cox,P., Willis,W.K & Coustasse, A. (2014). The American epidemic: The U.S. nursing shortage and turnover problem
Nursing associations have roles of patient safety, these roles include creating foundation documents or they seek to influence the legislation and rules that provide protection and serve the members of nursing service. It also advocates for patients and problems which have an impact on nurse’s abilities. The core function of nursing association is advocacy; they seek to influence policies by pleading or having disagreements with the political, economic and social systems for causes or ideas that can influence the allocation of resources that promote healthcare as a whole and also nurses. The nursing association also promotes also have a communication advantage with nurses by being to communicate quickly with nurses. This keeps the members informed of the issues and assist in development. The nursing association also provide the development professionally of its members some provide constant education. Also, these associations provide manuscripts which are relevant to its members and provide advanced education in speciality.( Carman, Dardess, Maurer, Sofaer, Adams, Bechtel & Sweeney,2013).
Politically members of the nursing associations work with state legislatures to promote the concerns of nursing and also address the public about the healthcare concerns and providing quality healthcare. The nursing association is also mandated to articulate nursing values to keep up with the integrity of profession and the practice. Nursing associations collaborate with other in ventures with other health-related organizations to when need arises thus promoting healthcare.