NEW YORK NURSE: October 2012
RNs at work
I’m trying to get other RNs involved in NYSNA. But the apathy is killing me! Any advice?
Well, first I’ve got a bone to pick with you.
And this one’s a shocker: I don't think apathy is real.
Think about it: Do you really know anyone who is 100% happy about their job?
Think about all the challenges nurses face: staffing issues, abusive supervisors, workplace violence.
And that’s not even mentioning the fact that many hospital administrators and anti-union politicians are gunning for our wages, benefits, and retirement.
There are many reasons why nurses are not involved in our union: fear, intimidation, language barriers.
And let’s face it: some nurses aren’t involved because they don’t think getting involved will make any difference.
But apathy is not the problem.
Here are some real-life tips that other nurses have used to get people involved:
- Listen. This is so important. You won’t know why other nurses won’t get involved unless you take the time to listen to them, and find out what is holding them back. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth: use them in that proportion.
- Baby steps. Most people don’t go from being totally uninvolved to being a super-activist over night. And it’s easy to see why: nurses are so busy. Most people will start out by doing something small.
- Be specific. Don’t tell people “You need to get involved.” Ask them to do something specific — come to a phone bank for a candidate, pass out a flyer to their co-workers, or ask other people to sign a pledge card.
- Don’t confuse meetings with activity. Meetings are to plan activity. There are many ways members can be involved without ever coming to a meeting.
- Don’t give up on people. Keep asking them to help out. When they see other nurses doing their part, they will be more likely to pitch in.