Unionization of Nurses and the Workforce Culture of Safety

Unionization of Nurses and the Workforce Culture of Safety

One of the defining attributes of the professional practice of an advanced practice nurse is professional capacity and commitment in embracing informed strategies in promoting continuous adoption of evidence-based practice change in their workplace and beyond. Based on the dictates of the MSN essential on health policy and advocacy, as a general expectation, for qualification as a successful and impactful practitioner, the practice of an advanced nurse should be evidenced by a committed efforts to inform and influence adoption and practicing of evidence-based practice change beyond mere continuous improvement to the quality of their nursing care as individuals (Barton, 2016). To achieve this MSN essential, advance practice nurses should contribute to evidence-based change at the system level by actively participating in the policy making process using informed advocacy strategies (Barton, 2016). Labor unions promises competitive value as an advocacy strategy by advanced practice nurses.

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Of particular significance, unions and collective bargaining agreements are in record for assuring unionized nurses a competitive advantage in the quality of the workplace environment compared to their non-unionized counterparts (Pittman & Scully-Russ, 2016). As an emphasis, in practice, unionized nurses are characterized by better working terms and conditions in relation to compensation and their voice in the decision making process at the workplace, including critical issues impacting on nursing and patient care outcomes such as nurse-to-patient ratio. Staffing has been closely associated with having far-reaching implications on the performance and outcomes of nursing in organizations. Not only are staffing issues the leading cause of job dissatisfaction and burnout among nurses and related high rates of turnover; they are the single most important cause for preventable medical errors and poor relationships between nurses and their patients and others in the workplace (Scruth, Garcia & Buchner, 2018). Being unionized is a binding solution here and a promise to a workplace culture of safety.


Barton, A. J. (2016). Teaching Health Centers: A Possible Model for Nursing Education. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(10), 547-549.

Pittman, P., & Scully-Russ, E. (2016). Workforce planning and development in times of delivery system transformation. Human Resources for Health, 14(1), 56. DOI.org/10.1186/s12960-016-0154-3

Scruth, E. A., Garcia, S., & Buchner, L. (2018). Work life quality, healthy work environments, and nurse retention. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 32(3), 111-113.

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