Changes in policies can be achieved by advanced practice nurses with the help of different approaches. One of these methods is belonging to a union (Yoder-Wise et al., 2014). As a result of participating in union activities, nurses can unite their efforts to achieve concrete goals (Mason, Leavitt, & Chaffee, 2013). Therefore, it is possible to state that nurses should be unionized to receive opportunities to be involved in decision-making, negotiating, and problem-solving at an organizational level.
Furthermore, it is important to note that unions contribute to developing the workforce culture of safety. When nurses are not unionized, they are less protected in their workplace (Sokas et al., 2013; Tourangeau et al., 2014). On the contrary, unionized nurses face fewer emotional threats, they receive the required support, their fears regarding employment are decreased, and they can concentrate on the collective action while forming new structures to implement the change and use more available resources (Dube, Kaplan, & Thompson, 2016).
Also, it is possible to discuss the activism of nurses and the issue of belonging to unions in the context of the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. Essential VII which is known as “Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes” is directly related to the topic of unionization because it accentuates the importance of forming networks and collaborating with nurses to achieve higher results in their practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). While joining unions, nurses can not only improve the workforce culture of safety but also influence the quality of the provided care when implementing changes and cooperating to reach collective goals.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of Master’s education in nursing. Web.
Dube, A., Kaplan, E., & Thompson, O. (2016). Nurse unions and patient outcomes. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 69(4), 803-833. Web.
Mason, D. J., Leavitt, J. K., & Chaffee, M. W. (Eds.). (2013). Policy and politics in nursing and healthcare (7th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences. Web.
Sokas, R., Braun, B., Chenven, L., Cloonan, P., Fagan, K., Hemphill, R. R.,… Storey, E. (2013). Frontline hospital workers and the worker safety/patient safety nexus. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 39(4), 185-189. Web.
Tourangeau, A., Saari, M., Patterson, E., Ferron, E. M., Thomson, H., Widger, K., & MacMillan, K. (2014). Work, work environments and other factors influencing nurse faculty intention to remain employed: A cross-sectional study. Nurse Education Today, 34(6), 940-947. Web.
Yoder-Wise, P. S. (2014). Leading and managing in nursing (5th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences. Web.