Nurses and Strikes: a perspective from the United States

Ketter, J.
July 1997
Nursing Ethics;Jul97, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p323
Academic Journal
In the United States, there has been a continuous debate between those who favour collective bargaining for nurses and those who believe it is not professional. Likewise, the controversy over whether nurses should strike has been longstanding and continues today. Those who oppose the idea of nurses striking often state that they are abandoning their patients, and that it is not ethical, even though federal legislation requires a 10-day strike notice so that management can make patient care arrangements. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has supported the right of nurses to strike, as a last resort and after careful consideration of every factor. This support has divided the membership of ANA and the nursing profession, even though the strikes have been used sparingly and effectively by nurses in this country; and so the debate continues. It seems clear that collective bargaining and professional ethics are not only compatible, but inseparable.


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