February 18, 2013
By Diane Cohen, Laborpress Washington DC Bureau
WASHINGTON DC —The leaders of two labor organizations representing healthcare professionals have announced they have approved an affiliation agreement that will bring 34,000 registered nurses into the AFT.
The National Federation of Nurses, which represents nurses across the country, will affiliate with the AFT, whose 1.5 million members include more than 48,000 nurses and thousands of other healthcare professionals.
"Both educators and nurses are nurturers. This partnership solidifies the unity between those who nurture body and mind—those who heal our communities with those who educate our children," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "But nurturers need muscle to advocate on behalf of the students and patients they serve. The affiliation is great news for nurses, their patients and patient care. It is a partnership based on mutual interests, mutual respect, and a mutual desire to provide our members with the tools and conditions they need to advocate for the people they serve."
Barbara Crane, a registered nurse and president of the NFN, said, "A strong voice for nurses is particularly important now in this time of transition when America's healthcare system is being redesigned. Nurses are the most trusted healthcare providers, and this new partnership with the AFT will enable us to continue to be the voice for the patients we serve."
The NFN is active in Montana, Ohio, Oregon and Washington state. The affiliation agreement maintains the organization's autonomy and structure, and provides substantial resources for growth and development of the NFN's membership. NFN's constituents will continue membership in their state and national organizations, as well as in the American Nurses Association.