Archive for the ‘licensing’ Category

Former Australian arts minister, Ros Bates, is facing criticism (and potential parliamentary censure) for claiming to be a Registered Nurse, when she had in fact allowed her license to laps.

It’s a bit of a tempest in a teapot. Bates is probably right that, in the context of parliamentary debate (rather than, say, in the context of being hired at a hospital), critics are “nit-picking” when the point to the difference between being a qualified nurse and being a registered nurse.

But the story is a good reminder of the social privilege that licensure implies. Compare: I’m a philosopher by training (that’s what my PhD is in). But no one ever gets in trouble for “falsely” claiming to be a philosopher!

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Unionization by health professionals is a touchy subject. And when it’s not, it ought to be.

See this story by James Warren for the New York Times: Finally, Nurses Are Set to Vote on Unionizing

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is still at it and will finally get a representation election next Wednesday and Thursday among about 270 registered nurses at one of the group’s locations, Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center.

It’s a drawn-out, nearly decade-long tussle fit for the times. The union has met resistance and filed 50 complaints about unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board. The company voluntarily settled 18 of the 50 complaints brought against its various properties before any federal hearing….

Interestingly, Warren’s article makes absolutely no mention of the fact that nurses are not just regular employees, that they are health professionals. Nurses are licensed professionals with a code of ethics and an avowed commitment to the public good. That makes them pretty different from municipal employees or auto workers. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t unionize. But it does raise concerns about nurses joining unions that are not exclusively unions of nurses. Unionization has a purpose, and unions have their goals. But the goals of a union can quite easily conflict with the goals to which a health professional swears upon joining the profession.

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