I’ve been a nurse for nearly 40 years, 28 of them as a proud member and leader of SEIU Local 1991 in Miami, Fla. Each year, as we celebrate National Nurses Week, I am overwhelmed with pride with the profession I’ve chosen and the colleagues who aren’t just friends, they’re sisters and brothers.
Every day, we encounter nurses rising to the challenge, whether it’s saving a patient in crisis, or organizing our workplaces, or responding to environmental disasters. We also can be counted on to advocate for better care or call out injustices. And because of this leadership and activism on behalf of our patients, at our workplaces, and in our communities, nurses have been ranked as the most trusted profession for 17 consecutive years.
So it’s no surprise the outrage that followed when a state senator in Washington, opposing legislation that would require meal and rest breaks, stated nurses “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.” Her comments created a firestorm on social media with nurses, other healthcare professionals, patients and family members all sharing how nurses really spend their workday.
Here are just a few ways SEIU nurses play our cards:
Advocating for safer workplaces
Delivering needed care to immigrant families
Speaking out for affordable care
Building our strong union
As we celebrate National Nurses Week, take time to reflect on the contributions that SEIU’s 80,000 nurse members and nurses everywhere are making every day, every hour and every minute of the year.