Aparamount issue facing registered nurses in the eighties is the choice of trade union or professional association representation for purposes of collective bargaining. This act of choice recasts the profession's historical dilemma. The question no longer is whether professionalism is compatible with collective bargaining but rather, “Which labor organization shall represent me?”
History will record and interpret these events. As president of the American Nurses’ Association, my task is not to be reflective but to speak out. Will the profession's collective bargaining contracts be articulated by truck drivers, teachers, electricians, jewelry makers, and meatcutters rather than nurses? Who best can represent the professional and economic interests of nurses?
Let there be no mistake about it; the nursing profession is under siege by trade unions. This is not simply a battle for contracts, but for control of our right to speak in our own behalf on all issues confronting the profession.