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Global Day of Action by Nurses, Healthcare Workers in 13 Countries

Global Day of Action by Nurses, Healthcare Workers in 13 Countries

Big Actions Across World Highlight Global Day of Action by Nurses, Healthcare Workers in 13 Countries

United in Call for End to Austerity, Healthcare Cuts, and a Robin Hood Tax 

Major nurse and healthcare union organizations marched, rallied, and held other actions in 13 countries Tuesday, September 17th, in the first coordinated global day of action in a call to stop the harmful effects of austerity measures, cuts in health care services, improved patient care, and economic healing and recovery.

Many of the actions, including a colorful march and rally in New York City by thousands of members of healthcare, labor, and community groups also stepped up the push for a tax on financial speculation, also known as the Robin Hood tax to raise the hundreds of billions of dollars from the banks and speculators to promote the global healing. The New York action also marked the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

The international events were the first series of events stemming from the June founding of Global Nurses United which united the leading nurse and healthcare unions in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe to work together.

In addition to the huge New York march, other highlights included:

  • Australia – scores of nurses and midwives rallying across Sydney, including at the New South Wales Parliament House for nurse-to-patient ratios and opposing budget cuts. Queensland nurses held workplace actions, published ads, took other actions in support of the global day
  • Honduras – thousands rallying in front of the government house in Tegucigalpa for improved patient care in the public hospitals and the hiring of more nurses
  • Dominican Republic – actions in Santo Domingo and Santiago calling on the government to increase funding for vital public health services
  • South Korea – a march by 1,000 nurses and allies on the Korean National Assembly in Seoul, September 12 demanding an end to austerity, and a call to save the big Jin Ju Medical Center, and pass the Robin Hood Tax
  • Canada – nurses rallying in Calgary, Alberta against cuts in the provincial healthcare system
  • Guatemala – thousands joining a mobilization in Guatemala City to oppose austerity measures and pass the Robin Hood tax
  • Argentina – an action demanding full funding of public health care, respect for the rights of nurses and other health care workers, and in support of the Robin Hood Tax.
  • Costa Rica – health care workers rallying to demand nurses’ rights to collectively bargain and to strike and will then deliver a demand to the government to fully fund public health care
  • South Africa – nurses stepped up a petition drive to oppose austerity measures and support the Robin Hood tax. That followed an action earlier in the week office when nurses and allies marched on the Ministry of Health in the Eastern Cape province demanding solutions to the chronic health problems facing the province.
  • Brazil – rally to call on the Minister of Health and the President act on a law to limit working hours of all nursing professionals to 30 hours a week along with the launch of a national forum to press for improved working conditions for nursing professionals

Nurses and health workers in the Philippines, Ireland, also participated in the global day of action. Select photos from around the world:

South Korea
South Korea


Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
South Africa
South Africa
United States of Americ
United States of America




Let’s Talk About Healthcare, and I Don’t Mean the ACA.

Let’s Talk About Healthcare, and I Don’t Mean the ACA.

Let’s talk about healthcare. I don’t mean debating the Affordable Care Act. I mean health care, as in: If everyone needs health care, guarantee that everybody gets it.

I know, when it comes to healthcare, it’s easy to get into a debate for or against Obamacare. But we nurses see the world through a different lens: our patients.
Share this video of nurses summing up why everyone in the U.S. needs guaranteed healthcare.

Good health care is a fundamental resource that keeps America’s big engine running. Every day, as we do our best to care for our patients, nurses see people with chronic disease like asthma or diabetes who can’t afford insurance costs or medication. Maybe they’re absent from work, tired, and distracted from trying to manage their health on a shoestring. They run the risk of hospitalization. They struggle for a distant unreachable shore hoping something will help. They can’t get ahead because their health keeps dragging them down. And yet the answer isn’t on the horizon, the answer is in our pockets, in our hands. It’s our taxes. We pay them and we ought to benefit from them.

There’s one thing that every American does. Every working American (OK, except the Wall Street crowd) pays taxes. But what do we pay taxes for? Increasingly, we wonder where our money is going, how our money is serving our communities, and how our tax money is helping us and our families.

There are dozens of arguments about what our tax dollars should be doing. But what if we spent a portion of our tax dollars on the one thing that would position every American, young and old, on the road to success? That one thing is good health. You need it to go to school, get to your job, excel at what you do, and dream big dreams that will make our country great again.

We must do better and nurses have a solution. The United States ranks first in costs but 37th in health outcomes in the world. We do even worse for infant morality and life expectancy. So nurses are proposing another way. We’re saying that our taxes should help pay for our healthcare. It works for seniors, it works for Congress members, and it will work for all of us.

This week, we launched an online campaign, asking voters to demand this from Congress. See the press release here.

We’re talking about something that already exists for some, right here in the United States of America, and what can easily exist for everyone. A tax-funded national healthcare system would negotiate prices for prescription drugs, medical devices and services, specialists and more, effectively lowering the cost of delivering care. Taxpayers don’t have to worry about paying for someone else’s care. You’ll be paying for your own care, your family’s care, without raising taxes at all.

Since the tax subsidies to buy insurance under the ACA mostly move money around to pay for private insurance for some that don’t have it, and which allows the insurers to take 20 cents off the dollar, it would be more efficient to uses taxes to pay for everybody’s healthcare directly, eliminating the middleman and the shell game.


We are reaching inside the box to think outside the box; we are charting a third way. It’s time to rediscover healthcare as care rather than insurance for the first time in a long time, and let the taxes we already pay deliver what every American needs.

Please share this post with your colleagues and online communities!

Thank you,
Deborah Burger, RN
NNU Co-President

Certificate Program in Women’s Global Health SCHOLARSHIPS.

Certificate Program in Women’s Global Health SCHOLARSHIPS.


As part of the Certificate Program in Women’s Global Health, we are pleased to announce the fall 2013 courses: Global Women’s Health Movements and Impacts of Economic Inequality on Women’s Health, co-sponsored by National Nurses United and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Global Women’s Health Movements and Impacts of Economic Inequality on Women’s Health will be offered as on-line courses during the fall semester of 2013.

Click here to read more about the certificate program

Global Women’s Health Movements (Course # 01:988:407) examines how global political and economic institutions and policies impact health globally. The course investigates how women’s non-governmental organizations are transforming existing institutions and policies of global health governance such that people everywhere can lead healthier and more dignified lives.


Impacts of Economic Inequality on Women’s Health (Course # 01:988:408) investigates how domestic and global economic inequality place significant numbers of people at high risk for health crises even as they are denied access to care. This course investigates the “pathogenic” aspects of gender and economic inequality; how systems of unequal resource distribution contribute to wide disparities of health risk, access to healthcare, and clinical outcomes; and how global trade and transnational migration affect costs, healthcare delivery systems, and the availability of healthcare professionals.

Click here to download a printable flyer about course offerings

For tuition rates, to register for a course, or for questions about the certificate program in general, please contact the Certificate Program Administrative Coordinator, Janelle Fine, at no later than Thursday, August 15th.

Scholarships are available for RN Response Network members.

  • To apply for a scholarship for the course Global Women’s Health Movements please submit a short essay (500 words) detailing any international or disaster relief work in which you have partaken, and how this work has informed your RN patient advocacy.
  • To apply for a scholarship for the course Impacts of Economic Inequality on Women’s Health, please submit a short essay (500 words) discussing how you see economic inequality impacting the ability of your patients to obtain the healthcare they need.
  • If you would like to apply for a scholarship, and are not already a member of RN Response Network, click here learn more about RNRN or to join now.

All interested scholarship applicants should submit their essay via email to with the subject line “Women’s Global Health Leadership Scholarship Essay” no later than Thursday, August 15th at 11:59 p.m.

In Solidarity,
National Nurses United

RN Response Network

National Expert: Nurse Talk’s Electronic Medical Record Segment A Ray of Sunshine.

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Retired RN Kay McVay Honored with 2013 “RAGE for JUSTICE” Award

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Global Nurses United is Born

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With aim to Step Up Fight against Austerity, Privatization, Attacks on Public Health and Work for Safe Nurse Staffing Ratios and Improved Patient Care for All SAN FRANCISCO – Leaders of the premiere nurses and health care workers unions in 14 nations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe have announced plans to form a…Continue Reading