National Nurses United
HeadquartersOakland, California
  • United States
Key people
Bonnie Castillo (Executive Director), Deborah Burger, Zenei Cortez, Jean Ross (Presidents)

National Nurses United (NNU) is the largest organization of registered nurses in the United States.[2][3][4] With more than 225,000 members,[1][5] it is the farthest-reaching union and professional association of registered nurses in the U.S. Founded in 2009 through the merging of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, the United American Nurses, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the NNU focuses on amplifying the voice of direct care RNs and patients in national policy. The union's policy positions include the enactment of safe nurse-to-patient ratios, patient advocacy rights at the Executive and State level, and legislation for single-payer health care to secure "quality healthcare for all, as a human right."[6] The organization's goal is to "organize all direct care RNs into a single organization capable of exercising influence over the healthcare industry, governments, and employers."[6]


The executive director of the national organization, which is affiliated with the AFL–CIO, is labor leader Bonnie Castillo, who also heads the 90,000-member California Nurses Association.[7] The former executive director is RoseAnn DeMoro, who serves as National Vice President and Executive Board Member of the AFL–CIO.


Single-payer health care

The organization backs a Medicare for All single-payer healthcare plan for the United States.[8][9]

To support a single-payer system, NNU leadership mobilized large-scale demonstrations demanding single-payer healthcare be included in the platform at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[8]

Occupy Wall Street

National Nurses United has held numerous protests, including one in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and another on Wall Street,[3] to protest privatization and profiteering in the health care industry.

NNU supports a tax on financial transactions, which the organization says could raise at least $350 billion a year.[10]

Support for Bernie Sanders

Feb. 21, 2020, Las Vegas. One Day Before Nevada Caucus. NNU with former Ohio lawmaker Nina Turner, advisor to Bernie Sanders for President 2020 campaign.

In The New York Times on January 28, 2016, Nicholas Confessore reported, "According to Federal Election Commission records [NNU's] 'super PAC' has spent close to $1 million on ads and other support for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[11] The NNU spending was classified as "Expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate."[12] In 2019, NNU officially endorsed Sanders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.[9]


United American Nurses

UAN logo

Founded in 1999, it only represented registered nurses (RNs).[13] In 2009, UAN merged with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee and Massachusetts Nurses Association to form NNU.[6]

New York State Nurses Association

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) voted to join NNU as an affiliate in October 2022, increasing NNU's total membership to nearly 225,000.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b "National Nurses United: About". Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  2. ^ "Growing National Nurses United union steps up strikes in aggressive new strategy".
  3. ^ a b "Nurses Rally for Health Care Funding". June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "National Nurses United". Common Dreams. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Mensik, Hailey (October 21, 2022). "New York nurses union merges with NNU, US's largest nursing syndicate". Healthcare Dive. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "National Nurses United".
  7. ^ "Nation Conversations: Rose Ann DeMoro on Demanding a Decent Standard of Living For All Americans". The Nation. June 21, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Peter, Nicholas (May 31, 2016). "Nurses Seek Democratic Showdown". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Major Nurses' Union Backs Bernie Sanders and His Push for 'Medicare for All'". The New York Times. November 12, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  10. ^ "Nurses, Unions Propose Wall Street Tax". VOA.
  11. ^ "Bernie Sanders Tops His Rivals in Use of Outside Money". The New York Times. January 28, 2016.
  12. ^ "New York Times Gets it Wrong: Bernie Sanders Not "Top Beneficiary of Outside Money"". The Intercept. January 29, 2016.
  13. ^ "United American Nurses' Founding Members". November 19, 1999 – via