New York State Nurses Association and National Nurses United announce historic affiliation to grow national movement of nurses to advance interests of patients, RNs

For immediate release: Oct. 20, 2022
Contact: press@nationalnursesunited.org or
Kristi Barnes, kristi.barnes@nysna.org, 646-853-4489

New York, NY - The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and National Nurses United (NNU) are proud to announce today that the New York nurses have overwhelmingly voted to affiliate with NNU, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States, to mutually grow and strengthen the power of nurses within the state and nationally to advocate for themselves and their patients. The vote came at NYSNA’s annual convention, where elected leaders in every NYSNA-represented facility in the state come together to decide the strategic direction of the union.

NYSNA’s nearly 42,000 members will increase NNU’s membership close to 225,000 nurses, and will also bring NYSNA into the AFL-CIO, of which NNU is already a member union. NYSNA, the oldest nurses association in the country and one of the most influential nurses unions, will gain greater resources and capacity, particularly in the federal arena, by joining NNU.

The two organizations are well aligned in their approaches to powerful representation on behalf of nurses and the profession, supporting efforts such as creating strong workplace standards to protect nurses from infectious diseases like COVID-19, establishing federal safe staffing laws, holding employers responsible for preventing workplace violence, and fighting for health care justice in our wider society.

NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, CCRN, BSN, said, “COVID-19 has shown that nurses nationwide face the same issues and challenges at work. There is strength in numbers and a NYSNA affiliation with NNU will strengthen our fight to protect nurses, our patients, and our communities. We are thrilled that this affiliation connects us more closely to the national and international labor movement, which is essential to improving the lives of working people.”

“This is a great day for nurses in New York and across the country,” said Jean Ross, RN, and a president of National Nurses United. “NYSNA is already a powerhouse in its own right and has done such an amazing job representing nurses in New York state. We are honored they have voted to join forces with us in building our national movement of nurses to fight for our profession, our patients, and the health of our communities.”

NYSNA First Vice President Dr. Judith Cutchin, RN, DNP, of NYC Health+Hospitals/Woodhull said, “Nurses throughout the country are rising up and demanding change. NNU is a trailblazing union that has a track record of winning respect for nurses and winning safe staffing ratios in California. Together, we will work to change policies and address important issues that affect nurses and our patients at the city, state, and national levels."

“Nurses are stronger when we work collectively,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN and executive director of National Nurses United. “Our solidarity is what makes it possible to challenge injustice and inequity in our workplaces and in the health of our society. We could not be more proud to now be fighting this fight alongside New York nurses.”

Second Vice President Marion Enright, RN, of Nathan Littauer Hospital, said, “Working in a hospital in a rural area of New York State that once had low union density, I know firsthand how building union power helps nurses win better conditions and advocate more effectively for their patients. Together, NYSNA and NNU have the power to fix our broken health care system, protect our patients, and put an end to the staffing crisis.”

NYSNA Secretary Nella Pineda-Marcon, BSN, RN-BC, of Mount Sinai Morningside said, “NYSNA and NNU share the goal of transforming our health care system so that it puts patients over profits and delivers quality care to all. We are also committed to address and heal the broader social, economic, racial, and climate injustices that fuel illness in our patients and society.”

NNU’s other affiliate nursing organizations include California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, District of Columbia Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, and Minnesota Nurses Association, which recently engaged in the largest nurses strike in U.S. history.

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The New York State Nurses Association represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.

National Nurses United is the country's largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses, with more than 180,000 members nationwide.

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.