Modern day health care is a troubled industry. Enshrouded in a net of oft-conflicting regulations and entrusted with the safety of America’s sick and wounded, many of whom lack the necessary insurance to guarantee reimbursement to their providers, the financial stability of our nation’s medical facilities is called into question on a daily basis. Today’s hospital has the unenviable task of walking a fine line between caring for its patients and remaining solvent as a business, a laudable goal attainable at least in part by recognizing the inextricable connection between the institution itself and the nurses who form an infantry amongst its ranks. Even as these nurses form an ever-present “front line” on the hospital battlefield, their recent strike in California, threatened and averted strikes in New York, and a judicially-restrained “walk out” in Riverside County, California last month, shine a harsh if necessary light on certain issues plaguing our current health care system as it stands so precariously with one foot on either side of a dangerous fence.
The nature of the nurse’s role begs the question: does participation in a labor union extend to the right to strike? … Read more →