Nurse Alliance

Nursing skills at the baccalaureate level are in high demand. Nurses who have completed the journey to a BSN share their experience and offer helpful advice.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl_J0YGdpfE

Members at SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund facilities can get tuition assistance toward earning a BSN – learn more here.

SEIU members receive a discount at Western Governors University’s nursing school, which also offers a BSN program.  Learn more here.

August 8th, 2016

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

healthcareWorkerGroupSilhouettePurpleWe know that our patients need our care, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.  That’s why the state legislature enacted a new law in 2016 requiring 6 hours of training for every licensed RN, LPN, and ARNP on suicide prevention.

The law requires a one-time training course (at least six hours in length) in suicide assessment, treatment, and management. The law requires the Washington State Department of Health to adopt rules establishing the minimum standards for the training programs by June 30, 2016, and to approve training programs beginning January 1, 2017.  For now, nurses need not act.  Once the training program has been established, likely in 2017, all nurses will need to take a 6-hour course.

For more information, check out the full article on the Department of Health’s website: Suicide Prevention Training.

April 5th, 2016

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

grace_yang_0107-bWe advocate for our patients at the bedside, but taking our message outside our workplace and into the community helps us meet their needs and also advance our profession.

Grace Yang, RN, Harborview, was recently appointed to a two-year term as Secretary-Treasurer on the board for the Washington Center for Nursing (WCN), a coalition of nursing organizations including our union, nursing executives, staff nurses, and nursing educators. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW President Diane Sosne, RN, MN also serves on the WCN Board.

The Washington Center for Nursing was created during the Nursing Summit in 2001. The WCN has worked on variety of nursing projects, including the Master Plan for Nursing Education and the organization of regional stakeholder meetings on the Nurse of the Future. Diversity and inclusion, nursing education, and addressing the nursing shortage are current focuses for the Board.

With an aging population, aging caregiver workforce, and about 300,000 additional individuals who are eligible for care under healthcare reform, Washington’s nursing shortage is expected to worsen. Board members including Grace are working to address the nursing shortage by diversifying our workforce, mentoring new nurses, and engaging younger students to consider nursing careers.

“Right now the average age of a nurse in Washington is 48, so increasing our pool of nurses is a huge need that the Center is working to address,” Grace said. “We also work on data collection and watch the shift in our workforce, which puts the pressure on all of us to feed the supply of nurses we need.”

Grace notes that in addressing the workplace shortage we must pay attention to needs on the full spectrum of nursing, from finding the right nursing educators to assessing challenges for new nurses.

“One of our biggest bottlenecks is finding qualified people to teach nurses, especially when teaching pay isn’t as much as remaining in frontline care. It can be up to a 50% pay cut. We have so many nursing student applicants, more than can be accepted. You have to ask, where are we putting our priorities? We need to look long term with education and help resolve that access problem. SEIU’s multi-employer training fund helps address this issue and meet students where their challenges are, creating a pipeline in our hospitals for the existing workforce to move up.”

WCN also works on mentoring new nurses and engaging younger students.

“We need to attract diverse nurses to the field and address their specific challenges, whether it’s funding, balance with family, access to education. Our online mentorship program for new nurses of color helps meet the needs of new nurses by determining what to prioritize. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the tasks of nursing and we help mentor to look at the bigger picture,” said Grace.

The WCN mentoring program aims to engage a more diverse workforce by addressing nursing challenges early in careers, like answering questions about being a student nurse, listening to stressors and successes of clinical or work experience, providing advice about balancing responsibilities between home and work, advising on the job search process, and giving tips on job interviews.
Advancing our nursing profession also needs to include our current workforce, who often bring decades of experience and community connections.

Grace and the WCN Board engage nurses to seek leadership positions in our communities, whether on business boards, school boards, councils, and advisory panels.

“Nurses are trusted. When we advocate for something it’s for a good reason. If we’re saying there aren’t enough nurses for the future of our state or our patients aren’t getting the care they need, then people listen. But if nurses aren’t at the meetings or on the Boards someone else will be making the decisions, whether it’s big pharmacy, big insurance, doctors or physicians. That’s why it’s so important for our profession to step up and be leaders. That’s a key goal for both WCN and SEIU, to have a voice in every step of our community and elected processes so we have frontline experts making decisions locally, at the state, and at federal levels,” Grace said.

In addition to her work on the WCN Board, Grace has been using her voice as a member of our union and Executive Board to make a difference in the nursing profession and healthcare for nearly fifteen years.

“As nurses our work is caring for patients, but we also must care for those who care. I tell other nurses why I became active – I wanted to know what our union did, what WCN was all about. I wanted to be part of the decision making and have the most information on what I can do to make my nursing profession, my workplace, my patient care environment better. We see things that aren’t right. We’re working short. I can’t provide the care I was taught to provide. So how do we resolve that? That’s why I’m active in our union and WCN. We have a voice in our workplace and a role in changing our professions and speaking out for patients. It can start in small ways and move to big things.”

Visit the WCN website for more information.

January 22nd, 2015

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

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By Chris Barton, director of the SEIU Nurse Alliance Northwest

Members of Congress are resuming their anti-factual attacks on the Affordable Care Act so the SEIU Nurse Alliance is resuming our “Nurses Know the Truth” blog posts. Nurse leaders nationwide will weigh in with evidence-based facts and offer our own front-line experiences, too.

First up: shedding light on the truth about the new rule that just went into effect Jan. 1 requiring employers to provide healthcare coverage to anyone who works at least 30 hours a week or else pay a penalty. Republicans trying to undo that provision are spreading three dangerous mistruths:

MISTRUTH No. 1: Obamacare’s 30-hour rule is causing working people to have their hours cut.

FACT No. 1: The United States is not experiencing a new shift toward more part-time work at all; the opposite is true.

The trend of employers shifting more working people to part-time hours began long ago, spiking at the start of the Great Recession; it has been decreasing since the new healthcare law passed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Registered nurses and many other technical staff in hospital settings typically work three 12-hour shifts per week. Given the 24-7 needs of a hospital, a 36-hour workweek makes sense for both scheduling and patient care needs.

Defining the workweek as 40 hours could negatively impact 1.7 million registered nurses and advance practice nurses employed not only by general medical and surgical hospitals, but also by other specialty hospitals and by psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, according to the American Nursing Association.

MISTRUTH No. 2: Redefining the work week as 40 hours would protect people now working full time.

FACT No. 2: It would hurt more working people as employers turn more of them into part-timers.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned, as recently as Jan. 7, that this measure was likely to create even more part-time jobs. It provides a “perverse” incentive for companies to cut hours for more people, as Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) put it. The White House noted it would “create the very problem it claims to solve.”

Given the nursing shortage in our country and the need to provide safe, quality care in the face of it, nurses probably won’t have our hours cut. However, if the workweek is defined as 40 hours, many of us who work in healthcare–the very people dedicated to providing high quality care to others–could have our employer-provided insurance coverage cut.

MISTRUTH No. 3: What this change might do to the federal budget isn’t that important.

FACT No. 3: This legislation will be costly to both working people and all taxpayers.

In fact, an estimated 1 million working people would lose their employer-provided healthcare coverage, according to the CBO. Employers who are no longer required to pay fines for not providing coverage to their employees would increase the federal deficit by $53 billion over 10 years, according to the CBO. With no plan to pay for that gap, it looks like it will be taxpayers footing the bill.

For working people such as nurses who may lose our healthcare coverage but still earn too much to qualify for any help affording coverage, the choice will be between paying out of pocket or going without health insurance. In nursing, a large percentage of our colleagues are senior staff who might be tempted to take early retirement from physically demanding jobs. Receiving good benefits, especially good healthcare coverage that can be so costly for aging workers, is a strong incentive to stay on the job and mentor the next generation.

For all these reasons, the SEIU Nurse Alliance is skeptical of efforts to move the Affordable Care Act’s definition of the work week to 40 hours for purposes of requiring employers to cover working people. We urge members of Congress to look beyond the beltway sound bites, and vote in the interests of working people in their districts.

January 22nd, 2015

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

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Our work to improve safety and staffing for our patients doesn’t just happen inside our hospitals, it also happens in our communities, at the bargaining table, and at the ballot box when we elect leaders who will stand with us.

We advanced this work with nurses from across the state at our Nurse Alliance Leadership meeting where we shared, networked, and planned for our ongoing work.

We shared our most recent nurse staffing victories:

  • Nurses in Spokane had a win for patient safety in their new contract, as a charge nurse can now call a “staffing alert” when staffing levels fall below the matrix on a given unit. When a staffing alert is called, the hospital is now required to find solutions, including redistributing staff, calling in nurses on standby, soliciting overtime volunteers, and bringing in nurse managers, education nurses, and nurse supervisors to quickly bring staffing levels back to levels that help us provide quality care. Nurses in Spokane went on strike in December over patient safety and staffing concerns in their hospital.
  • Nurses at Harborview Medical Center won break relief nurses as part of a pilot project in their new contract.  Nurses are now able to take uninterrupted breaks and lunches on pilot project units.
  • Nurses at Swedish Medical Center-Edmonds made staffing improvements in many units, actually increasing FTEs. Management notified nurses of potential layoffs and cuts in December 2013 and nurses responded with petitions, stickerups, grievances, and marches on the boss to show that cuts to staffing would impact patient care. Nurses at Edmonds were unified around this measure, and this victory underscores the need to have a safe staffing law that would ensure the proper staffing levels immediately.

As nurses, we also recognize the importance of electing healthcare champions to our legislature in order to pass safe staffing and other patient safety legislation.  We’re joining together to elect one of our own nurse leaders, Rep. Tami Green, to the Senate in the 28th District. Tami is formerly a state nurse at Western State Hospital and now works at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma. She understands the work we do on the frontlines, and is one of our most powerful voices in the legislature for our patients and safe staffing legislation.
Mark your calendar and join us: we’ll be walking to help elect Tami Green at our nurse day of action on Saturday, October 18, as well as phone banking and talking with voters.

In addition to helping to elect nurse champions, we’re already working together, as more than 10,000 nurses and healthcare workers across Puget Sound will be standing up for patients as we negotiate new contracts in 2015. Our bargaining campaign launches with our bargaining conference on Saturday, October 11.

Anne-Cline“It was great to gather together with other RNs from across the state and across our union. It was inspiring to learn  of concrete examples of how our unity and power is working at other hospitals.” Anne Cline RN, Valley Hospital, Spokane

 

 

Zeynab-Jama“We work at different hospitals, but we have the most power when we join together across our hospitals and chapters to make a difference statewide. Whether we work in Seattle or Spokane, we see the same issues and we’re fighting the same fight.” Zeynab Jama, RN, Harborview Medical Center

September 26th, 2014

Posted In: Nurse Alliance, Uncategorized

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See what nurses have to say about it.

Do you think our hospital patients are more at risk for preventable harm and even death than they were 5 years ago, 10 years ago, or even 15 years ago? I think the answer is yes.

This is the reason why we continue to fight to protect our patients and advocate for the safest staffing. Now a senate panel convened by Sen. Bernie Sanders spotlighted the issue, noting that patient deaths in hospitals are not getting enough attention. You can read more about it here.

In fact, the committee noted that patient deaths in hospitals are now the third leading cause of death in our nation, behind heart disease and cancer.

We know this is unacceptable and our voices need to be heard. I sent this letter in to the senate panel on behalf of the 26,000 nurse and healthcare worker members of our union:

 “With the epidemic proportions of preventable hospital deaths, we believe it’s time for policy and lawmakers to intervene on the patients’ behalf. We need mandated staffing standards to save money and, most importantly, save lives.”

 You can read the full letter here.

Dr. Tejal Gandhi, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, noted a culture where people are afraid to speak out about errors won’t get a hospital very far on any initiative.

I wanted to share this article and letter with you, and also underscore that Dr. Gandhi is right. We need to continue to speak up when we see unsafe conditions for our patients, whether it is with our colleagues, to our managers, within in our community, and to our elected leaders.

In the next few months we’ll have new opportunities for us to work together to advance patient safety, including Nurse Alliance meetings and work to elect leaders who will help us pass a safe staffing law. It will take all of us, and I want to make sure we hear from you.

In unity,

Chris Barton, RN

Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

Director of SEIU Nurse Alliance NW

 

August 21st, 2014

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

When staff nurses from two unions gather together to strategize around improving staffing, patients and their families take heart and hospitals take notice. Washington’s nurses are ready to take on the corporate healthcare industry and demand that patients come before profits.

Staff nurse members joined forces on Saturday to add strength and volume to the call for safe patient staffing standards. In a day-long event, the nurses focused on honing their advocacy skills, sharpening their message, and refining their strategy to win statewide nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nurses connected across regional and hospital boundaries to build one strong voice to hold hospital executives accountable. Nearly 50% of hospitals in Washington State are now part of a large corporations.

Nurses from both unions who work in PeaceHealth, Providence, Franciscan and Community Health Systems facilities connected to discuss strategies to hold these corporate giants accountable for safe staffing standards and patient safety. Nurses examined and discussed staffing outcomes research and the new Affordable Care Act payment structures that reward hospitals for better outcomes– which will come from better staffing.

“Since we created our healthcare regulations, hospitals have consolidated and grown,” said Diane Sosne, RN, MN, President of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. “Decisions about patient care are being made by CEOs in far-away corporate boardrooms, not by front-line nurses. This needs to change.” View speaker resources here.

Nurses left reenergized and ready to work towards holding hospitals accountable to their true missions to provide patient care.

Conference materials are available below.

Keynote Speakers

Barbara Caress, Healthcare Consultant

“Our hospital doesn’t have enough money for staffing.” Sound familiar? Barbara Caress will tell you why our hospitals can’t afford not to have the safest staffing. As an expert in hospital finance and economics, she’ll debunk the common myths we hear and share why hospitals should implement safe staffing as soon as possible to save our hospital systems money, along with patient lives.

View speaker resources here.

Dr. Pam Mitchell, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Safe staffing doesn’t just save lives, it improves care and saves money. Dr. Pam Mitchell is an expert on connecting quality patient outcomes to nurse staffing and will share how data can help us make the case for the urgency around staffing in our hospitals. Dr. Mitchell will also share her partnership with nurses at Valley Medical Center to implement a project for nurses to assign their own staffing levels.

View speaker resources here.

Rep. Dawn Morrell, RN

Our work to provide the safest care extends beyond the walls of our hospital and into our community and to the state legislature. Our advocacy with elected leaders as critical to conveying the urgency and need for staffing reforms, but how do we make sure our voices are heard when our hospitals say staffing reforms aren’t needed? In addition to her work as a state legislator, Rep. Dawn Morrell, RN, has worked as a certified critical care nurse at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital since 1984, and will share her expertise how our voices can effectively counteract the voices of hospital administrators.

Workshops

Save money, save lives: The business case for better staffing
– Chris Barton, RN & Joanne Metroplos, RN

Every day, enough patients die from preventable medical errors to be the equivalent of 3 plane crashes. Hospitals say they can’t afford the money for better staffing, yet they can’t afford to ignore this crisis. How can we raise the alarm when our hospitals say they don’t have the money? Hear how the Affordable Care Act and the link to quality outcomes will bring more money to our hospitals, and how value based purchasing can ensure our hospitals receive top reimbursement.

View workshop resources here.

Sharing our staffing stories beyond the dinner table: How to be an effective communicator on the nurse staffing crisis
– Lillie Cridland, Linnae Riesen, & Julie Popper

Sometimes it feels like nobody really understands what it’s like to be a nurse. So how can we help the general public understand the crisis? Join nurse communicators Linnae, Julie, and Lillie on the importance of sharing our story and some tips and tricks to make the crisis real, both beyond the dinner table and in the media.

View workshop resources here.
Share your story form available here.

Not too tired to give a damn: Breaks, Fatigue, and Patient Safety
– Jan Ellis, PhD, RN & Carson Glickman-Flora, JD

Our patients are counting on us to provide the safest care, but how can do that when we’re working fatigued and missing our breaks and meals? This practice impacts more than just staff and puts our patients at risk. Jan Ellis, PhD, RN, and former nursing instructor from Shoreline Community College will share research linking fatigue to critical patient safety issues, and tools we can back to our units to highlight the impact this has on care. Carson Glickman-Flora was the lead attorney in the landmark State Supreme Court decision which affirmed the importance of breaks for patient safety and required hospitals to adequately compensate nurses for missed breaks at Sacred Heart Medical Center. She will review legal victories happening around the state and discuss the legal obligations for employers to provide and properly compensate for missed breaks.

View workshop resources here.

Walking the walk and talking the talk: patient advocacy is part of the job
– Rep. Tami Green, RN and Anne Tan Piazza

Most days we leave work, happy to have survived the shift. But is it enough when we know our patients are missing care and their safety is on the line? The Nurse Practice Act and RN code of ethics says it is our duty to advocate for our patients. Join Rep. Tami Green and Anne Tan Piazza to hear more about how we can help pass state laws to reform patient safety, how it’s already working in California, and the importance of our work in the elections and in the legislature to ensure our patients are safe.

View workshop resources here.

June 12th, 2014

Posted In: Nurse Alliance, Uncategorized

Every day, a lack of action by our hospitals on key patient safety issues leaves patients susceptible to injury, infection, falls, readmission into the hospital, or even death.

Hospitals continue to make unsafe decisions regarding nurse staffing, all while multiple studies show that safer working conditions are linked to safer patient care and reduced healthcare costs.

We have to act now to improve the current staffing law to save lives, ensure safer care, stronger staff retention and reduced healthcare costs.

Join with nurses from across the state as we discuss how to advance our campaign for patient safety and staffing minimums.

Saturday, June 7
10:00am – 5:00pm
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (Near SeaTac Airport)

RSVP here.

Keynote Speakers

Barbara Caress, Healthcare Consultant

“Our hospital doesn’t have enough money for staffing.” Sound familiar? Barbara Caress will tell you why our hospitals can’t afford not to have the safest staffing. As an expert in hospital finance and economics, she’ll debunk the common myths we hear and share why hospitals should implement safe staffing as soon as possible to save our hospital systems money, along with patient lives.

Dr. Pam Mitchell, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Safe staffing doesn’t just save lives, it improves care and saves money. Dr. Pam Mitchell is an expert on connecting quality patient outcomes to nurse staffing and will share how data can help us make the case for the urgency around staffing in our hospitals. Dr. Mitchell will also share her partnership with nurses at Valley Medical Center to implement a project for nurses to assign their own staffing levels.

Rep. Dawn Morrell, RN

Our work to provide the safest care extends beyond the walls of our hospital and into our community and to the state legislature. Our advocacy with elected leaders as critical to conveying the urgency and need for staffing reforms, but how do we make sure our voices are heard when our hospitals say staffing reforms aren’t needed? In addition to her work as a state legislator, Rep. Dawn Morrell, RN, has worked as a certified critical care nurse at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital since 1984, and will share her expertise how our voices can effectively counteract the voices of hospital administrators.

Workshops

Save money, save lives: The business case for better staffing
– Chris Barton, RN & Joanne Metroplos, RN
Every day, enough patients die from preventable medical errors to be the equivalent of 3 plane crashes. Hospitals say they can’t afford the money for better staffing, yet they can’t afford to ignore this crisis. How can we raise the alarm when our hospitals say they don’t have the money? Hear how the Affordable Care Act and the link to quality outcomes will bring more money to our hospitals, and how value based purchasing can ensure our hospitals receive top reimbursement

Sharing our staffing stories beyond the dinner table: How to be an effective communicator on the nurse staffing crisis
– Lillie Cridland, Linnae Riesen, & Julie Popper
Sometimes it feels like nobody really understands what it’s like to be a nurse. So how can we help the general public understand the crisis? Join nurse communicators Linnae, Julie, and Lillie on the importance of sharing our story and some tips and tricks to make the crisis real, both beyond the dinner table and in the media.

Not too tired to give a damn: Breaks, Fatigue, and Patient Safety
– Jan Ellis, PhD, RN & Carson Glickman-Flora, JD
Our patients are counting on us to provide the safest care, but how can do that when we’re working fatigued and missing our breaks and meals? This practice impacts more than just staff and puts our patients at risk. Jan Ellis, PhD, RN, and former nursing instructor from Shoreline Community College will share research linking fatigue to critical patient safety issues, and tools we can back to our units to highlight the impact this has on care. Carson Glickman-Flora was the lead attorney in the landmark State Supreme Court decision which affirmed the importance of breaks for patient safety and required hospitals to adequately compensate nurses for missed breaks at Sacred Heart Medical Center. She will review legal victories happening around the state and discuss the legal obligations for employers to provide and properly compensate for missed breaks.

Walking the walk and talking the talk: patient advocacy is part of the job
– Rep. Tami Green, RN and Anne Tan Piazza
Most days we leave work, happy to have survived the shift. But is it enough when we know our patients are missing care and their safety is on the line? The Nurse Practice Act and RN code of ethics says it is our duty to advocate for our patients. Join Rep. Tami Green and Anne Tan Piazza to hear more about how we can help pass state laws to reform patient safety, how it’s already working in California, and the importance of our work in the elections and in the legislature to ensure our patients are safe.

Certificates of attendance will be issued that meet the continued competency requirement for Washington State RN licensure renewal.

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April 3rd, 2014

Posted In: Nurse Alliance, Uncategorized

The 2.1 million members of SEIU have been fighting for decades to ensure that everyone has access to quality affordable healthcare. We fought hard to get the Affordable Care Act passed, and we are still fighting hard to protect and fix the law.

Just before leaving for August Recess, the extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives held the 40th repeal vote on the healthcare law. It is unconscionable that they are more interested in scoring political points than ensuring that their constituents understand the benefits and protections of the law.

These extremist Republicans have no plan and their actions would take away health insurance for 3.1 million young people, force 6.3 million seniors to pay more for lifesaving prescription drugs and make 71 million hard working Americans start paying for what is now fully covered preventive care, such as cancer screenings, well child visits and contraception. Additionally, insurance companies could go back to denying people healthcare coverage, dropping people when they are sick and charging women more than men for the same care.

Enough is enough!

SEIU Nurses are leading outreach efforts in their communities this summer to ensure that everyone in America knows the facts about the benefits and protections of the new healthcare law. The law is working for families, communities and patients.

Here’s what SEIU nurses are saying about the Affordable Care Act:

Angie Bartels, RN and Certified Diabetes Educator
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Harborview Medical Center
Seattle, Washington

I am certified diabetes educator and a specialist in HIV care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Because of the Affordable Care Act, I see people better able to manage their chronic conditions. I also know it was such a relief for my colleagues and family members to be able to keep their children under 26 on their insurance policies, for patients to access free preventive care and screenings and for seniors to see the prescription drug “donut hole” close.

Sharon Ingram, RN
SEIU Local 521
Kern Medical Center
Bakersfield, California

Anyone who’s been in my shoes has seen the look of despair on a patient’s face when they can’t afford medications or treatment. I can think of hundreds of patients who have been helped by the healthcare law, but the one that sticks in my head is a 23 year old woman who was having a gallbladder attack and did not have insurance. She was there with her mom and I noticed that her mom was wearing a U.S. Postal Service uniform. I told the patient that she could be on her mom’s plan because under the healthcare law those under 26 can stay on their parent’s insurance. This made such a difference to them in their ability to afford the follow up care.

Amy Fusselman, RN
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
Allegheny General
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Because of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, 80 million Americans have access to preventive care. I have seen the grief and pain suffered by patients and their families who delayed care because they could not afford the co-pays that come with visits for preventive screenings. In my experience outcomes are much better when patients have access to proper preventive care and appropriate medical treatment. Early screenings — now covered by the healthcare law — for heart disease (the leading cause of death in the U.S), cancer (the second leading cause of death in the U.S), and even screenings during pregnancy have changed outcomes for my patients. We’ve caught diseases early and have been able to pro-actively treat patients rather than reacting to a condition that could have been prevented.

Dian Palmer. RN
Chair, Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare and President, SEIU Healthcare WI
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As a nurse for 25 years, I have seen the challenges and health risks for women and their families when they do not have access to the full range of health services – from contraception and maternity care to preventive check-ups and cancer screenings. President Obama’s healthcare law stopped the worst of insurance company abuses which included the outrageous practice of charging women more than men for the same insurance coverage, using Caesarean sections or domestic violence as pre-existing conditions to deny women healthcare, and dropping women’s coverage if they got sick.

Carmen Morales-Board, NP and Certified Diabetes Educator
SEIU Local 521
Kern Medical Center
Bakersfield, California

As a perioperative nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator, I daily witness the devastating effects of unmanaged chronic disease on the patients in my care. Limb amputation, stroke and kidney failure due to uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension is a sad reality for those unable to access essential primary/preventive care services and lifesaving medications. The Affordable Care Act removes financial barriers to front-line care by eliminating co-payments for basic health care services. This has made all the difference to my patients.

Linda Bock, RN
SEIU 1199
Community Health Center
Bowie, Maryland

I tell my patients that donuts are not good for them and neither are the holes. This law dramatically improves their lives by allowing them to stay on their prescribed medications and get preventive check-ups to stop serious problems before they start.

Bonnie Chappell, RN
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Spokane Valley Hospital
Spokane Valley, Washington

I have been been a registered nurse for 38 years and I work in labor and delivery at Spokane Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley, WA. In 38 years I’ve delivered a lot of babies, and with the Affordable Care Act mothers and babies are getting the care they need to start off life with the best possible odds.

Norlissa Cooper, RN
SEIU 1021
San Francisco General
San Francisco, California

The Affordable Care Act focuses on preventative care, eliminating co-pays for essential healthcare such as check-ups, cancer screenings and contraception. More patients will be covered in 2014, and we will see fewer people using the emergency department at San Francisco General as their sole source of primary care. When patients have the opportunity to see a practitioner when they are ill, without fear of cost, many of the costly health care crisis’ that I see now, will be avoided.

Raushanah Abdullah, RN
SEIU Nevada
Valley Hospital
Las Vegas, Nevada

As a nurse I worked with many transplant patients and saw the dramatic difference that they experienced-life before and after a transplant is a world apart. Unfortunately, I also saw the negative impacts of a system where insurance companies – and not healthcare providers – made the decisions on how much and what kind of care patients were able to receive. Some transplant patients would reach their lifetime limit on care and the insurance companies would stop paying for their daily anti-rejection medication. Some of these patients would try to buy it on their own, but it is very expensive. They would try to ration the pills, taking them every other day or weekly which is ineffective; some patients just stopped taking the pills altogether. Without the medication, their transplanted organs died. What a waste in so many ways. These insurance companies took away the healthy lives that these transplant patients were living and put them back on dialysis or worse. The Affordable Care Act eliminates lifetime limits on care. The law puts the decision about what kind and how much care patients receive into the hands of healthcare providers.

Kim Klinger, RN
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania

One of the last things a person with cancer needs is more stress. But I’ve seen that happen again and again when my patients learn that they have reached their health insurance cap while getting the cancer treatment they need to survive. Families have been bankrupted just by trying to get well…[The law means], no cancer patient–or anyone with a serious illness–will be faced with this kind of death sentence again.

Becky Leaven, RN
SEIU Local 199
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa

Repealing the healthcare law would end free preventive care-including maternity care, allow insurance companies to once again charge women more than men for the same care, and would allow insurance companies to count things like Caesarean sections as pre-existing conditions–which would allow them to deny coverage.

Pauline Taylor, RN
SEIU Local 199
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa

At a time when our kids are struggling to land that first good job with benefits, this law is giving me, and parents like me, tremendous peace of mind.

Dee Ives, RN
SEIU Healthcare WI
Veterans Care Facility
Madison, Wisconsin

These benefits [of the healthcare law] already have changed the lives of patients I have treated, such as Tom, who had a mild heart attack and was diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors prescribed medication to control his high blood pressure and blood sugar. Tom initially skipped scheduled doctor appointments and rationed his medication because he simply couldn’t afford it…thanks to the health care law, he had a free wellness visit and his prescriptions cost less. Today, Tom makes it to all of his appointments and takes his medication as prescribed. Medicare recipients such as Tom may not know that these improvements are due to the law, but nurses do know and it matters.

Margie Forrest, RN
SEIU 1199
Palm West Hospital
Loxahatchee, Florida

As a nurse, I strongly support the instrumental changes President Obama made to Medicare and Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act…. those who struggled to cover their prescription drug costs are now seeing their costs go down as the “donut hole” is closed. About 48,000 Floridians have saved roughly $665 each since the law was passed. Seniors also are getting regular preventive care like cancer screenings and annual wellness check-ups with no-copays. In the first six months of 2012 alone, more than 1,250,000 Florida seniors received free preventive services.

Denise Glass, RN
SEIU 1991
Jackson Memorial
Miami, Florida

I am a nurse at Jackson Memorial in Miami, Florida. Working in a public hospital where 21% of our patients are uninsured. Florida has over four million uninsured residents, many of whom would be eligible for coverage under the expansion of Medicaid services in the Affordable Care Act. Healthcare is not a commodity that only the rich should be able to afford.

 

August 15th, 2013

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP) and SEIU to work with online university to provide BSN and MSN opportunities to members

Western Governors University (WGU), www.wgu.edu/hcap, Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU),  have partnered to provide the union’s 85,000 nurses a new, more affordable means to earn advanced degrees. Under the terms of an agreement with the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), SEIU members will receive information regarding WGU’s accredited BSN and MSN degree programs as well as eligibility for a 5% discount for up to two years.

WGU offers online, CCNE-accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working nurses. These programs are ideal for RNs who wish to complete their bachelor’s degrees as well as those who wish to prepare to become advanced practice nurses or educators by earning a master’s degree. All online, WGU’s programs use an innovative, competency-based learning model. Designed for working adults with prior education and experience, competency-based learning allows students to move quickly through what they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn.

“This partnership will support the career aspirations of nurses and ultimately equip nurses with deeper skills and expertise, whether at the bedside, in a clinic or health center, or within the home,” said Diane Sosne, RN, MN and President of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.  “This opportunity is more important than ever as nurses strive to deliver the right care at the right time in the right setting for patients.”

In addition to their flexibility, WGU’s advanced nursing degree programs are very great value. With the H-CAP discount, tuition is approximately $6,200 per 12-month year. In addition, scholarships and federal financial aid are available to qualified students.  Furthermore, nurses working for employers who participate in the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund may be eligible for additional tuition assistance and other assistance programs.  Nurses at Harborview, Swedish, Valley Medical Center, Northwest, Group Health, or Highline should contact the Training Fund for more information.  Nurses who work elsewhere should contact WGU directly.

May 8th, 2013

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

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SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

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