SAN FRANCISCO — The National Nursing Week, which begins today, marks the start of another year for the National Nursers United (NNU), a union that is seeking to extend its influence beyond nursing.
In a letter to its members, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners (NAVP) urged its members to support the nurses union in its fight for better conditions at the nation’s nursing homes, arguing that the nursing home industry is “struggling to recover from the opioid epidemic and the associated coronavirus pandemic” that has hit the country.
The letter came a day after a nurse from the nursing homes state of California died in a heroin overdose in San Francisco.
The crisis has forced hospitals to close hundreds of nursing homes nationwide, with some nursing homes already closing for good.
The outbreak has left many nursing homes with only one full-time nurse for a nursing home, and nursing homes across the country have been struggling to find qualified nurses to fill vacancies.
The NNU, which has a membership of more than 4.4 million members, is the nations largest nurses union.
It has advocated for the expansion of nurse-led centers in the health care system, and has also advocated for a $15 minimum wage.
Nursing homes and other sectors that rely on the services of nurses to provide care to residents are among the sectors that are suffering the most from the pandemic, according to the nurses federation.
In September, the AFL-CIO endorsed the NNUs efforts in its labor contract with the union, which also included the call for the establishment of a national nurse-lead organization.