Press Release

AFT Lifts Up Essential Work of Nurses During National Nurses Week

For Release:


Sarah Hager Mosby

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement thanking the country’s nurses during National Nurses Week. The AFT is the nation’s fastest-growing healthcare union and the second-largest nurses union in the AFL-CIO, representing more than 250,000 healthcare professionals:

“National Nurses Week celebrates the essential, dedicated work of our country’s nurses, who often put their own safety and well-being on the line to care for the sick, injured and aging. They deserve our enduring thanks and respect—not just this week, but every single day of the year.

“Healthcare workers deserve the freedom to thrive, fueled by opportunity, justice and a voice in our democracy. That is what the AFT fights for—we strive for a better life for all. It’s what binds us together. And it’s why the AFT offers up real solutions and fights for them: bargaining living wages, helping wipe out student debt, and fighting for adequate staffing and safe working conditions through our Code Red campaign so patients get the care they deserve.

“Code Red engages our members and community allies in the fight for high-quality care. Like the Oregon Nurses Association and the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals winning a historic staffing law that enshrines safe staffing ratios and a voice for all job classifications in acute care settings; it’s the best healthcare staffing law in the nation. Or AFT Connecticut achieving a major staffing victory with a law ensuring bedside nurses can refuse unsafe assignments. Or the Washington State Nurses Association winning safe staffing legislation that improves conditions and gives nurses new power to enforce safe staffing levels.

“These real solutions translate to better care for patients and a stronger voice for healthcare workers. This is our unwavering North Star. This Nurses Week, we must do more than cheer for our nurses and healthcare professionals; we must acknowledge that their working conditions are patients’ healing conditions, and as Election Day draws near, we must remember who has our backs—and vote accordingly.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.