Frequently Asked Questions

What is National Federation of Nurses?

National Federation of Nurses is a leading national labor union and collaborative voice for registered nurses. Our work is driven by the priorities of our members—nurses associations and the individual nurses they represent.

National Federation of Nurses was founded in 2008 to provide a unique, more inclusive option for nurses and model for national unions. We are dedicated to respect for the members associations’ sovereignty, transparency and strong collaboration to meet the needs of nurses everywhere.

We take action at the local, state and national level to improve working conditions for nurses and achieve better patient outcomes. Our goal is ultimately to create a strong, educated and stable nursing workforce, and, thereby, improve health care delivery in the United States.

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How/why was National Federation of Nurses created?

Recognizing the need for an alternative option for nurses that centered on the principles of democracy, transparency and equity, the state nurses associations of Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Washington came together to form National Federation of Nurses in December 2008.

Who are the leaders of National Federation of Nurses?

National Federation of Nurses is led by nurses, for nurses. Visit Our Leadership page for a full list and bios.

How were these leaders selected?

The National Executive Board members were elected by their state associations.

How were the governing documents of National Federation of Nurses developed?

A collaborative working group consisting of the president, economic and general welfare chairperson, executive director and labor program director from each of the member associations, along with their legal counsel and outside legal counsel, developed the Constitution. View our Governing Documents.

Who can join National Federation of Nurses?

There are three ways nurses can become members:

  1. Membership is open to any state nurses association with a collective bargaining program
  2. Independent RN labor unions may become members
  3. RNs from unorganized hospitals in states where there is no state association collective bargaining program may contact NFN for organizing assistance and potential NFN membership.

How is National Federation of Nurses different from other national nursing unions?

The primary difference is that the National Federation of Nurses is led by and comprised entirely of nurses, and is directed by its members. Membership in the National Federation of Nurses is voluntary and member associations are not subject to trusteeship.

In addition, we provide a fresh, new approach for nurses and new model for national unions that centers on self-governance, respect for individuals member states’ sovereignty and highly coordinated collaboration. We provide support, education and assistance for state members, and advocacy and leadership on the national level to improve working conditions for nurses and achieve better patient outcomes. Our goal is ultimately to create a strong and stable nursing workforce, and improve health care delivery in the United States.

What is your relationship with the AFL-CIO, SEIU and other national labor organizations?

National Federation of Nurses shares common goals around improving workplace conditions and our country’s healthcare system with many other national labor organizations, and looks for opportunities to collaborate with them. At this time, National Federation of Nurses is not a member of the AFL-CIO.

Will you apply for a charter with the AFL-CIO? Do you expect opposition?

We have not had the opportunity to apply. If we do apply, we hope there is no opposition but that remains to be seen.

What is National Federation of Nurses’ relationship with the American Nurses Association?

All current member organizations of National Federation of Nurses are constituent member associations of the American Nurses Association (ANA). However, there is no formal relationship between National Federation of Nurses and ANA.

What are your legislative priorities?

NFN and its members are committed to improving working conditions for nurses and achieving better patient outcomes. Our goal is ultimately to create a healthy nursing workforce, and improve health care delivery in the United States.

Our primary legislative priority is to pass federal optimal staffing legislation. We heard from nurses across the country that this is the number one issue they’re facing in the workplace. It leads to burn out, fatigue, injury and compromised patient care.

It can also lead to violence against nurses – both physical violence from patients and their families when units are understaffed and horizontal violence (in the form of bullying and shunning) among nurses as a result of working long hours with little or no breaks in highly stressful environments. Reducing violence against nurses is our second legislative priority, and we’re doing most of that work in partnership with our members at the state level.

We’re also working with our members at the state level to pass the resolutions our delegates put forth at the last Federal Assembly.

Read our national policy platform and updates about our progress toward achieving our policy priorities and resolutions.

Will nurses from National Federation of Nurses member states be paying dues?

Each state will be responsible for paying dues on behalf of its members represented for collective bargaining.

Where is the National Federation of Nurses located?

The National Federation of Nurses is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

888 16th Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
1-202-580-6677 (1-877-NFN-1231)

info@nfn.org

What are the next steps for National Federation of Nurses?

National Federation of Nurses is currently working to achieve its national policy priorities and, with its member associations, to achieve the resolutions set forth by our delegates at our 2011 Federation Assembly. Sign up to receive NFN’s e-newsletter to hear stories and updates about our progress.

We have also developed a national policy agenda that calls for the passage of legislation that would create an optimal staffing model at the national level and policies that promote workplace safety at the state level. We developed our policy priorities in response to the issues our members told us are the most critical today.

We are constantly checking in with our nurse membership to ensure their voices are heard and our work remains as relevant as possible. Let us know about what issues you’re facing in the workplace by sending us an email, sharing your story on Facebook or taking a brief survey.

Finally, we host a National Labor Academy in May of each year, centered on the subjects most relevant to our nurse membership. Read recaps of past Labor Academies.

What are the primary functions of National Federation of Nurses?

  • To advocate and provide a voice for registered nurses at the national level
  • To provide support, education and assistance to the member associations

What are the core values of National Federation of Nurses?

  • Registered nurses are best represented by registered nurses
  • A strong national labor organization takes direction from its members associations
  • Founded and run on principles of democracy, inclusiveness, social justice and equality
  • Communication is transparent