In late February, a delegation of five NYSNA nurses traveled to India for our first-ever International Solidarity Mission to that country. Members of the United Nurses Association (UNA), a union of 5 million nurses in India, greeted our delegation at the airport. NYSNA nurses lent our support to their strike for safe staffing and better pay and benefits at KVM Hospital, bringing much-needed media attention to the struggle. The strike has lasted for five months. NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, spoke words of encouragement and solidarity to the union members assembled at UNA’s first convention.
The delegation visited a nursing school and attended an International Nursing Conference in New Delhi, where they heard nurses present many useful journal articles. They also toured a range of healthcare facilities—from big for-profit hospitals where medical tourists stay, to small public health centers and rural villages where some residents have never seen a doctor.
NYSNA members toured locations in the Southern Indian state of Kerala, where many Indian-American nurses practicing in the United States are from originally. We were so inspired by this trip and plan to do more.
As Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez said when addressing UNA’s convention, “Our nations’ histories and our realities are so different, but what I’ve learned over the years is that the more we’re different, the more we’re the same.”
Watch the video below, and learn more about NYSNA's Medical Missions here.