Union strategies for improving patient care: The key to nurse unionism

Paul F. Clark, Darlene A. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Over the past ten years the healthcare industry has become a main target of union organizing efforts. While registered nurses represent the largest group of healthcare professionals, union efforts to organize nurses have met only limited success. Evidence suggests that nurses are more inclined to join a union if they believe the union can help them address one of their most important concerns - the quality of patient care. This paper discusses the significant workplace problems nurses currently face in acute care hospitals and how those problems negatively impact nurses' abilities to provide effective patient care. The paper also identifies, examines, and analyzes strategies that unions have developed and employed to increase nurse voice and involvement in patient care/nursing practice decisions in acute care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-70
Number of pages20
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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