An Asian American nurse’s reflections on the murders in Atlanta

By Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN

I am them. They are us.

When I first saw the names of the eight people murdered last week in Atlanta, I knew immediately in my gut that this was a crime motivated by racism.

As a registered nurse, I devote myself to valuing life, to upholding human dignity, to seeing and caring for each patient as an individual human being. The huge surge in racially motivated attacks on people of Asian descent and this most recent massacre, which killed six Asian working-class, immigrant women, is the complete opposite of everything we nurses stand for. The…


By Marisa Lozano, RN

Striking San Joaquin County registered nurses in front of San Joaquin General Hospital

Everyone in San Joaquin County needs to know why the county’s nurses are striking.

The county has $95.5 million in reserves yet the board of supervisors refuses to settle our contract. For nearly two years, county health administrators have failed to bargain in good faith and they have ignored our concerns about staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and safe patient care. All of this hurts the quality of medical care that you and your loved ones can expect to receive in our county facilities!

We feel undervalued and disrespected. That’s why nearly 100 nurses have left…


Striking nurses at Alameda Hospital on October 7, 2020

By Lisa LaFave, RN

During the most devastating pandemic of our lifetimes, Alameda Health Systems (AHS) is willfully attacking its own frontline nurses and jeopardizing patient health and safety. For nearly two years, nurses have called on the Alameda Board of Supervisors (BOS) to intervene on behalf of the residents of our county, the very people who elected them to office.

However, the BOS has shirked its responsibility, refusing to take measurable action. This complicity has led this public health system into complete dysfunction and chaos. …


National Nurses United backs Biden.

They washed her hair, talked to her, prayed for her, but the registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente in Fresno, Calif. couldn’t save their beloved coworker Sandra Oldfield, RN. After she and her colleagues cared for patients without safe personal protective equipment (PPE), Oldfield lost her life to COVID-19 in May, 2020.

We’d like to think the deaths of Oldfield; 9 other members of my union, National Nurses United (NNU); and more than 1200 other nurses and health care workers across the country during this pandemic were not in vain. …


A suspected coronavirus patient was taken into Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx last week.Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraging workers exposed to the coronavirus to stay on the job would likely worsen the spread of the coronavirus and exacerbate the disparity of infected cases, and deaths, of African Americans that has become a national scandal.

Under its new recommendations, the CDC revokes previous guidelines that most workers who are exposed to the virus should be isolated for a period of 14 days. …


Frontline nurses fighting COVID19 continue to care for patients without protections. They are exposed, sidelined in quarantine, and sick. And now, nurses are dying.

Last week, National Nurses United (NNU) lost our first registered nurses to COVID19. We honor them, and sadly, we know that they won’t be the last.

Our lost members have joined scores of nurses and health care workers forced to take critical risks without adequate protection during this crisis, a crisis fueled by corporate greed and government malfeasance.

We know that nurses should have a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), the highest level of protection. But employers…


Nurse and healthcare union leaders around the globe demand the World Health Organization and governments step up personal protective equipment requirements, as Dominican nurses’ union leader dies from COVID-19.

Global Nurses United (GNU), an international federation of nurses’ unions, is sounding the alarm on deadly missteps and in some cases negligence by governments, health care employers and international agencies in the global COVID-19 response, after nurse union leaders from 23 nations recently participated in a GNU-organized webinar on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis was brought home by the recent tragic death from COVID-19 of Virgilio Lebron General Secretary of the…


Sign the petition below to tell Congress, “I stand with nurses, and I demand that you do everything in your power to ensure they are protected from COVID-19, because all of our lives depend on it.”

A message from a nurse on the front lines of COVID-19:

My name is Cathy Kennedy. I have been a registered nurse for 40 years — at Kaiser in Roseville, California for 38 of those years. My facility is the hospital where the first COVID-19 patient in California died on March 4.

You would think that back in early February, when we nurses started…


As registered nurses, we are not only frontline health care workers but also scientists, experts in the infectious disease process. And as union nurses, we are uniquely positioned to understand and speak out about what our employers and government agencies must be doing to protect health care workers, patients, and the public health of the nation.

Since we first learned of the novel coronavirus, National Nurses United, which includes California Nurses Association, has been extremely active in advocating that all health care agencies and facilities follow the precautionary principle in handling COVID-19 and act now — even before we know…


As a registered nurse working in the emergency room of an Arizona hospital, Andrea Valdez, is trained to expect the unexpected.

But she was caught off guard when she, her fellow nurses, and other medical professionals were greeted with applause on the first day of their medical mission in the Coban region of Guatemala.

“We got out of the van and people started clapping,” says Valdez who estimates there were some 600 people lined up to get care when the medical team arrived at 7 a.m. on December 4, 2019. “We’re not used to getting that kind of recognition.”

National Nurses United

National Nurses United, with close to 150,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store