Chicago partner Bruce Stickler was quoted in Modern Healthcare in an article on the difficulties that continue to beset the American Nurses Association (ANA). The recent withdrawal from the union of 37,000 members of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) leaves ANA’s membership at 141,370.

While the NYSNA has not confirmed that it will join ANA rival the National Nurses United (NNU), it would be a natural progression for the New York nurses.

The NNU was created in 2009 after members of United American Nurses merged with the California and Massachusetts nurses associations; since then, other associations have defected from the ANA and joined up.

Bruce explained that the NNU has “taken large numbers from the ANA and brought them to the NNU to form a super union.”

Unions have contended that because the ANA's leadership is mostly composed of nurses holding managerial posts, the organization often acts as an extension of hospital administrations and against union interests.

Bruce explained that the NNU, which counts about 185,000 members, favors more aggressive bargaining tactics than the ANA and pushes members to get others more politically involved, whereas the ANA usually “takes the high road” when it comes to work stoppages.

He added that the NNU’s power and aggressive tactics make it attractive for affiliation. “We're going to see more in the spring,” he said, noting that labor talks could be contentious between hospitals and the Minnesota Nurses Association, an NNU affiliate.