NEW YORK NURSE: January/February 2009
by Barbara Crane, RN, BC, CCRN, Delegate Assembly President
It is with mixed emotions that, after eight years on the Delegate Assembly, I have termed out and will be leaving in April. As I reflect on my time with the DA, I have come to appreciate that my first and my last years were the most outstanding in my time in this assembly.
My first meeting of the DA was on 9/11/01, when after a 46-minute meeting, every nurse in that assembly was heading south to New York City. I was so proud to be a part of the mobilization that day as nurses from all over the state scrambled to find their way to the city to aid in the rescue efforts. Unfortunately, we found ourselves unable to rescue many in the face of such devastation and realized that our world would never be the same. We continue to be compelled to adapt to the challenges that day brought to us all.
This year has brought another noteworthy milestone for NYSNA, as we position ourselves to take our rightful place as a driving force in the labor movement in New York and on a national level. Over the past 18 months, the elected and staff leadership of eight state nurses associations have worked to build a national presence that brings the best of each state nurses association into a national, federated structure.
As I write this column, I anticipate the formal announcement of a new national union – the National Federation of Nurses (NFN). By the time you read this, the announcement may have already been made. The structure of the NFN is based on the premise that all members of the federation can work together to strengthen and grow our membership. Our new national union will represent the interests of over 75,000 registered professional nurses from coast to coast.
The goals of this new federated structure are straightforward and significant: to support, educate, and assist our members in achieving their economic, workplace, and practice goals on both state and national levels. It will be committed to the autonomy and self-governance of each of its member nurses’ labor organizations.
The NYSNA Board of Directors has approved proceeding with the necessary steps to join the NFN, and I expect New York will continue to play a leading role in the federation’s future. The NFN constitutional committee has elected its first National Executive Board and officers and I am honored to have been elected the first president of the National Federation of Nurses.
It is with profound humility and gratitude that I pledge to continue to serve our members in New York and across this nation in working to build a strong national nurses’ movement.