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What is Organizing?

Organizing is the process and action of engaging co-workers to build a workplace which upholds high standards of care, fairness and transparency. Organizing means talking to co-workers, learning and sharing common concerns as well as identifying how to move forward together, unified, to address those concerns. Organizing is…changing the status quo. Organizing is recognizing the literal strength in numbers. Organizing is building a workplace community in which colleagues support each other, while also holding organizations accountable to the public they serve. Union Organizing connects colleagues not only at the same workplace, it also connects workers throughout the state and country.

Why Organize?

Organizing empowers workers to transform their workplace from one in which they have no meaningful input, to one in which their professional views have a real influence on building a healthy workplace as well as delivering the highest quality of care for our community. 

  • Policies changed and imposed without consultation?
  • Favoritism?
  • Unsafe Staffing? 
  • Unfair Treatment?
  • No meaningful input in the workplace?

Organizing is not a suggestion box disguised as a round file. It is a vehicle for giving workers a binding workplace voice and the power to make positive change.

How to Organize?

Organizing begins with one person raising a question regarding workplace conditions, a discreet conversation with a trusted co-worker or a group of nurses in a department talking about a workplace challenge and determining that it could be different. A call or email to an ONA union organizer is a great way to start that process.

Nurses in a workplace coming together to make decisions collectively, bargain together for better wages and working conditions, represent a tremendous amount of power.  If you are a member of ONA, you can help build the organization by referring your nurse colleagues at non-ONA facilities to the ONA Organizing Project. There is power in numbers.

If you are a nurse at a non-ONA represented facility and want to find out more about bringing ONA to your facility, click the link below to receive more information on organizing

Recent Organizing Successes

Organizing Testimonials

Diane Billings

"I can't remember who it was who invited me to that first meeting, but I know that I would have left the hospital if it hadn't been for organizing. We had to be pushed hard by management to organize.  Not that they wanted us to organize, but they made working conditions so bad that we had to organize in order to turn the tide that was leading us to be a second rate hospital. I love bedside nursing and have always taken great professional pride in the care I give my patients, but I now believe that my organizing involvement was probably my greatest achievement as a nurse.  I think it has had the most positive implications for me, my workplace and my community, because our patient care is dramatically better that it was before we organized.  " -Diane Billings, Mercy Medical Center (Roseburg, OR) 


Shelley Quackenbush

"I have been a nurse at Providence Medford Medical Center for 32 years, soon to be 33. In that that time I have seen a number of unfair things happen. Long term nurses have been singled out and arbitrarily terminated. Management did not communicate major changes to the nurses but unilaterally implemented plans without our input. This changed once we started talking to each other and supporting each other. We set up meetings and prioritized what was important for our patients and our nursing community. And it began with a call to ONA.” -Shelley Quackenbush, Providence Medford Medical Center


Hector Rivera

"We were tired of being stepped on by management and realized that we were at the mercy of the hospital. That changed when we as nurses decided to take action to fix our own situation. We contacted ONA and started working to bring nurses together to improve care for our patients. We decided for ourselves that forming a union was what we really wanted to do and reached out to nurses in all the units to build a stronger nursing voice in our community.” -Hector Rivera RN, Providence Medford Medical Center, Medical Telemetry


If you have questions , contact the Oregon Nurses Association, Organizing Project,  by E-mail or call (503) 293-0011 and ask for an organizer.

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Oregon Nurses Association
18765 SW Boones Ferry Rd. Suite 200, Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only)