According to studies, (AS CITED IN Marquis & Huston, 2009, P. 519), nurses join unions for various reasons ranging from increased individual power, increased role in organizational decision-making, reduced possibility…
It seems that there are various strong arguments against the unionization of nurses.
The first argument, in the opinion of Anne Shields and Kathleen Rice, is that unionization of nurses goes in stark contradiction with the Florence Nightingale Pledge to “devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care” (Shields & Rice, 2000). It is very evident that a nurse needs to be able to think, speak, and act independently in order to serve this purpose. However, unions often come between patient and nurse. This takes away the professional freedom and status of nurses.
To illustrate, it is very common for unions to adopt strike and walkout as the strategies to achieve their targets. In such cases, all the nurses in the union will be forced to do so because of their affiliations. However, unlike other professions, all healing professions are first and foremost servants of the patient. Unionization often comes with common issues like collective bargaining, political action, and litigation. When such economic considerations are given importance, the quality of patient care goes down.
Another adverse impact of unions will be on the effectiveness of supervision. Admittedly, the reality of nursing is that the ones who are highly dedicated and perform exceptionally are appreciated and better compensated by the nursing supervisors. However, the presence of a contractual agreement will make it impossible for the supervisors even to think about giving different compensation to different people violating the agreements. Things turn even worse when it is about incompetence. To illustrate, it is possible for a supervisor or management to remove such nurses who are ‘good enough’ or who are incompetent regardless of their seniority. However, such actions invite the wrath of unions. Thus, managers lose the power to argue for the welfare of the patient. Thus, AS Sbinga (2008) points out, instead of providing the best possible care to the patient, the ...
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