With a long and complicated history, nursing unions have influenced nurses in both positive and negative ways. The issue of nursing unions is one of the most divisive in the healthcare industry. When arguing whether or not nurses should unionise, there are numerous factors to take into account. What are the advantages and disadvantages of unionised nurses? To help you decide if a nursing union is right for you and your hospital, here are the top advantages and disadvantages of unions.

A Nursing Union is what?

When nurses band together for a common cause, they form a nursing union. The act of a group getting together is referred to as a "union." The professional nursing unions, on the other hand, serve to unite groups across the country. Members of these organisations exchange information on public policy, legislation, and civil liberties. The nursing organisations and unions that represent them work to influence government policy in a beneficial way for nurses. Many nurses are unionised, and they can be found working in a wide range of settings, from hospitals to schools to universities.

Top cons of nurses’ union

  • You'll have to pay your dues on a monthly basis.

Regular dues are a major drawback of nursing unions that you'll have to deal with. It's easy to be swayed by the fantastic promises of having a voice and being heard that unions make when you're just starting out in nursing. There is little to no genuine value in paying dues for nurses' unions if you take an honest look at them, especially when compared to the amount of money you will have to spend.

  • If the nursing union declares a strike, you must join it.

Being a member of a nursing union has its drawbacks, one of which is that if the union calls for a strike, you must participate. Until the problem is rectified, you should not return to work. Even if you decide to cross the picket line in protest, there will be consequences. Your elected post may be revoked, your health benefits terminated, and you may be subject to a monetary penalty. 

  • In the workplace, there may be a sense of discontent.

Having a union in the workplace might lead to disagreement, which is one of the drawbacks. For this reason, it is important to have an organised nurses union. As a result, management and nurses who should be working together and supporting each other may actually turn against each other instead of working toward the same goal.

Among the many benefits of nursing unions are the following:

  • You might get a raise in your salary.

Because of their collective bargaining strength, nursing unions are a powerful tool for negotiating a fair wage. Nurses who belong to a union generally earn more than their non-union counterparts. Being a member of a nurse union also entitles you to negotiated wage increases. You won't have to deal with the hassle of negotiating your own pay increase.

  • You'll be able to maintain a steady income.

As many people fear losing their jobs, job security can be a major aspect in their lives. Being a member of a nursing union offers you the security of a steady income. In most cases, the nurses' unions collective bargaining agreements protect their members from being fired without good reason. In these contracts, some of the most common phrases include: In order to be terminated, there must be a clear and convincing reason, such as sexual misconduct or neglect. 

  • You'll have a lawyer on your side.

Representation is one of the perks of being a member of a nursing union. What if you find yourself in a scenario where disciplinary measures could be initiated against you at work? In this situation, a delegate from the nursing union will be sent to verify that you are treated fairly and that your contract is not violated. Nursing unions, on the other hand, go a step further. A nurse's union will take legal action on your behalf if you believe your rights have been violated at work, so that you are not subjected to unjust treatment.

  • If you have a problem with your employer, there will be a procedure in place.

If there is a problem at work, the nursing union has established some guidelines. A grievance can be filed on behalf of the nurse and the nursing union. It is unfair or unjust for someone or something to be accused of a grievance in writing. The issue will be addressed by the nursing union, and it will be done so in a timely manner. If the nursing union believes the hospital is not handling your complaint appropriately, they may send a board member to investigate.

  • You'll be able to rely on the support of others.

One of the greatest advantages of nursing unions is that you'll never be on your alone. When you're a part of a group that cares about each other and is dedicated to the same goals as you, you're not alone. Always keep in mind that there is power in numbers.


Unions in the nursing profession are a strongly discussed issue. Benefits outweigh negatives for some. While some people prefer to avoid the risks of union membership, others prefer to avoid them at any costs. 

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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