The National Digest

High Turnover, Understaffing, Low Pay: US Nurses Fight to Unionize

Several groups of nurses are organizing to form unions in response to poor working conditions, despite opposition from management.

The American healthcare system is plagued by the most expensive costs in the world, as millions of citizens suffer from medical debt and 13.7% of adults have no insurance. In the midst of these issues, nurses across the US are fighting to unionize as a way to take on the for-profit healthcare system that they see as failing to help patients.

Mary Beth Boeson has worked for 24 years at Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, where nurses began an organizing campaign this year to form a union for the 3,200 nurses employed by the hospital with the Michigan Nurses Association.

Boeson said the campaign started because of changes at the hospital, including high turnover rates, understaffing and budget cuts.

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