The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (which represents 80,000 RNs), the United American Nurses (which represents 45,000 RNs), and the Massachusetts Nurses Association (which represents 23,000 RNs) have continued the unification process first announced in February 2009. The three unions announced that the new organization will be named National Nurses United.

The founding convention is scheduled for December 2009. Prior to that convention, each of the three unions must hold national conventions to ratify the pending merger.

This merger will result in a powerful national presence for direct-care RNs and likely will result in an increase in representation campaigns for non-union nurses. The three unions also believe the unified organization will strengthen the voice of nurses in the legislative realm, including such issues as national health care and the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act (S. 1031). This proposed legislation is modeled after California law that establishes RN-to-patient safe-staff ratios.

As we reported in April, the Ohio Nurses Association announced it had disaffiliated with the United American Nurses, one of the three founding unions of National Nurses United. The Ohio Nurses Association joined forces with nurses associations in five other states to form the National Federation of Nurses, representing nearly 70,000 RNs.