Nancy Gustafson, WOCN

When I was four I had to spend the night in the hospital, which was pretty scary. My nurse gave me a shot. I was so mad I said, “I’m going to grow up and become a nurse and come back and give you a shot,” and she said, “I hope you do. It’s a really good job.”

When we organized the first time I didn’t understand the role of the Union. I joined the bargaining team because if I had to be in the Union, I wanted to have a voice. I’ve never been one to sit around and wait for someone else to volunteer to do what I want done. Then I saw how it could improve the nursing care that we could provide.

During our most recent bargaining I had a colleague that was going to get fired. She’d been a WOCN as long as me, but they’d changed the job description to require board certification. She had a health issue and missed the exam. We were able to intervene so she had time to get her certification. Being a union activist is important so I can be a voice for people that need to have a voice.