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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nurses and Professional Prestige

Gallup reports:

Nurses continue to outrank other professions in Gallup's annual Honesty and Ethics survey. Eighty-one percent of Americans say nurses have "very high" or "high" honesty and ethical standards, a significantly greater percentage than for the next-highest-rated professions, military officers and pharmacists. Americans rate car salespeople, lobbyists, and members of Congress as having the lowest honesty and ethics, with the last two getting a majority of "low" or "very low" ratings.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Politicians and political strategists looking ahead to the next election cycle are taking notice of an increasingly potent political force on the state and national scene - one that's overwhelmingly female and dressed in scrubs.

The Oakland-based California Nurses Association has made its mark by delivering some powerful political punches with a combination of entertaining theater and savvy strategizing.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has felt the wrath of the army of the union's protesters, most of them dressed in their trademark medical uniforms. So have California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle - both losers in high-profile races this year.

And the clout of the California Nurses Association and its 86,000 members was underscored by news this week that, as the largest nurses union in the country, it helped Nicandra Diaz Santillan, Whitman's undocumented housekeeper, come forward with her explosive story. The Mexican maid's emergence became a turning point in the 2010 California gubernatorial election, which Whitman lost in a landslide to Democratic state Attorney General Jerry Brown.

And in the same year, the union's national organization, National Nurses United with 155,000 members, took to the picket lines, helping to organize walkouts - or threatening them - in five states, including California.