Nursing: Strategic Human Resources


Organized labor has an enormous influence in most of the industries. Nurse unions are worth mentioning because they are quite active and influential. They are determined to ensure that rights of trained professionals are respected, and they are not discriminated in the workplace. Such specialists are often reluctant to discuss such issues as wage and work overload with employers because of some aspects of the profession (Briskin, 2012). Therefore, labor unions give them an opportunity to defend their rights. Nurse administrators should be aware of particular complications that may be introduced during the process, and must participate in the whole process. It would be beneficial to examine the ideas of scholars on this subject matter, and the knowledge gained may be applied in practice.

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is defined as discussions between labor unions and employers focused on such topics as staffing ratios, wages, and others. The agreement may be reached in the end, and it leads to contract modifications. On the other hand, it is necessary to understand that several limitations are also present. The demands should be reasonable and justified. A management team may use a broad range of strategies during the process. For instance, it is paramount to consult with a professional in this area. Also, it would be beneficial to reach agreements with various departments to gain an advantage during the process of negotiation. Modern technologies may also be utilized to present data and findings (Cullen & Donahue, 2016).

A set of policies are focused on such processes, and they help to make sure that some of the problems are avoided. Each party should be aware of legal requirements associated with the negotiation process. First of all, a notification is necessary, and strikes are forbidden for a particular period. Another obligation is to consider and respect offered terms. Union may request access to information relevant to operations, and employers may face penalties if it is not provided. The core positions are regulated by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The whole procedure is explained in great detail. Another aspect that should be mentioned is that the process is also affected by state laws.

Managers’ Responsibilities in Union Organizing

It is necessary to say that the role of a nurse administrator in the whole process is not well-defined, and may vary from one organization to another. On the other hand, one should recognize that labor meetings and collective bargaining may have an impact some of the operations, and it is a responsibility of such professionals to ensure that productivity is not affected. A nurse manager should ensure that workers have access to all the crucial information regarding appropriate behavior during meetings and discussions. Such approach would help to prevent some of the issues that could hurt the organization in the long-term. An administrator may take advantage of the situation, and enhance communication patterns used by nurses. They are more likely to be vocal, and this is a positive aspect because they may share interesting ideas that could affect the practice.

Goals of the National Labors Relations Board (NLRB)

The role of NLRB must not be overlooked, and it is an organization determined to ensure that legal aspects of labor union elections are respected. Moreover, it often conducts investigations to determine if any unfair practices are present in a particular organization. Orders are also enforced, and parties may be severely punished if they do not acknowledge such decisions. NLRB also certifies the unions and focuses on the validity of votes (Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2015). Complications related to intervening unions may occur, and an organization should address such situation and reach balance. NLRB is involved in the process of voting, and a representative provides vital information (Cowen & Moorhead, 2014).

The Impact of Unions

The influence of labor unions has been rapidly increasing over the last few years, and it is also true for registered nurses because they were frequently mistreated in the workplace. Such organizations of employees try to make sure that such topics as staffing ratios are raised. The subject matter is quite controversial and has led to many disagreements. Labor unions have drawn enormous attention to this problem, and it is likely that the situation is going to change in the future because many studies show that this approach helps to reduce mortality. On the other hand, it is suggested that this policy may have to be modified, and it should not be applied to all the states (Munnich, 2014). Such aspects as benefits and compensation are also taken into account. One of the studies suggests that professionals that are internationally educated are not discriminated by unions, and such findings are crucial (Walani, 2013). A nurse that is a member of an organization has a higher wage, and can participate in discussions. Compensations are also essential, and a labor union may help with situations when a particular employee was injured in the workplace and others.

Nurse Manager in Labor-Management Relationship

A nurse administrator has many tasks and responsibilities, and one of the primary goals is to minimize the number of conflicts in the workplace and establish a supportive environment. One should come up with solutions to particular situations if it is possible. Labor unions and manager teams have different perspectives on most of the topics, and an administrator should collect necessary information that would help to improve levels of trust. It is understandable that some of the conflicts cannot be avoided, and one should try to resolve it as soon as possible using a variety of methods. A nurse manager must be willing to provide help and support, and it would help to build lasting relationships. Any tension should be eliminated because it may have a lasting impact on the process of work. It is necessary to focus on cooperation, and members of the labor union should not view an administrator as an opponent.


In summary, it is quite evident that labor unions are incredibly important for registered nurses because they can address most of the issues they have to have to face in the workplace and avoid unfair treatment. The issue is that relationships with the management team may be quite complicated because of opposing interests. Therefore, a nurse administrator should utilize a broad range of techniques to ensure that possible complications are prevented, and the process of work is not disrupted. Contract negotiations have changed over the years, and both sides are trying to focus on innovative approaches. Overall, the development of an appropriate negotiation strategy is critical, and it is important to educate personnel and nurse managers on this subject matter because many conflicts are preventable.


Briskin, L. (2012). Resistance, mobilization and militancy: Nurses on strike. Nursing Inquiry, 19(4), 285-296.

Cullen, M., & Donahue, M. (2016). Partnership negotiations: Innovation for nurse contract negotiations during turbulent times. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 33-38.

Cowen, P. S., & Moorhead, S. (2014). Current issues in nursing (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Munnich, E. L. (2014). The labor market effects of California’s minimum nurse staffing law. Health Economics, 23(8), 935-950.

Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2015). Leadership in nursing practice (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Walani, S. R. (2013). Earnings of the internationally educated nurses in the U.S. labor market. Nursing Research, 62(3), 169-177.

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NursingBird. "Nursing: Strategic Human Resources." May 4, 2022.