More than 1,800 nurses and allied health professionals at Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, Providence Seaside Hospital in Seaside, Oregon, and with Providence Home Health and Hospice have gone on strike, launching the region’s first nurses’ strike in more than 20 years. In addition to labor contract disputes, nurses striking in Oregon are citing decades-long issues with insufficient staffing levels, burnout, and failures to recruit and retain staff. The strike is scheduled to end on Friday June 23rd at 7:00PM PST.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) supports the right of nurses to advocate for themselves, their patients, and communities. Striking is the last resort when nurses have continuously called for change yet see no other option or improvements. This landmark strike in Oregon is evidence of that very fact.
For decades, ANA and its constituent and state nurses associations have issued urgent and national calls for action to solve work environment issues and systemic breakdowns that result in nurses exercising their right to strike. Just last week, on June 15, ONA members were among the nearly 400 members of ANA who traveled to the U.S. Capitol to urge Congress to improve nurses’ work environments through deliberate legislative action:
- Enact legislation to prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses.
- Require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) to issue a national health care workplace violence standard.
- Implement nurse staffing standards to ensure nurses have the time and the resources that they need to deliver quality care and positive outcomes.
- Cosponsor the Improving Care and Access to Nurses (ICAN) Act to remove practice barriers for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
- Support the National Nursing Workforce Center Act to create a pilot program for nursing workforce centers to better recruit and retain nurses.
The Nurses Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethics for Nurses clarify that the nation’s more than 4 million nurses have the right and ethical obligation to negotiate terms, wages, and work conditions of their employment in all practice settings. Ultimately, nurse strikes are about providing patients with quality care, and being able to do so effectively is heavily reliant on the nurses’ work conditions and value that leaders demonstrate for their nursing workforce. Immediate, transformational, and real action is long overdue.
About the American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's more than 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org