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Nurses Leading the Way in Labor's "Southern Revival"

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Answering the Call to "Organize the South"

As a steadily growing population translates into growing political power, it could be said that as the South goes, so goes the nation.

Will the twin weeds of regression and anti-unionism that have found fertile ground in the South for decades spread their legacy of declining union membership and greater worker exploitation elsewhere in the country?

Or will the labor movement invest in changing the South and growing our movement for justice, respect, and the freedom to thrive for all working people?

It's a choice to organize the South or die, and unions like National Nurses United have chosen to live.

"For the registered nurses at Mission Hospital in North Carolina, 'Organize the South' is more than just a motto," writes Lucy Diavolo in the July | August | September 2022 issue of National Nurse Magazine. "It’s exactly what they’ve been doing. And the North Carolina labor movement is thanking them for it."

National Nurses United / National Nurses Organizing Committee received the 2022 P.R. Latta Rank-and-File Award at our 65th Annual Convention for their historic unionizing victory in 2020 at Healthcare Corporation of America’s Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, and for their ongoing efforts to protect nurses and patients at the Durham VA.

With their 2020 win, Mission nurses are on the leading edge of that organizing and already scoring big victories. Through their Professional Practice Committee, they’ve pushed management to make major investments in staffing, both for nurse retention and for support staff like phlebotomists. Drummond says they’ve seen staffing levels improve, practically in real time, in response to Assignment Despite Objection forms that nurses file. And this fall, Mission Hospital, which is owned by HCA, the largest for-profit hospital chain in the United States, announced it was investing $22 million in pay raises for its health care workers who provide or directly support patient care — undoubtedly a result of pressure from its union nurses.

Southern Revival, National Nurses Magazine, July | August | September 2022

Read about how Nurses at Mission Hospital are leading the way in growing North Carolina’s labor movement and showing what solidarity looks like in our state (PDF).

Southern Revival, National Nurses Magazine. By Lucy Diavolo
Southern Revival, National Nurses Magazine. By Lucy Diavolo