Last updated: 4th June 2021
Nurses United (NU) is an organising hub powered by frontline nurses for frontline nurses. We are currently incubated within the New Economy Organising Network (NEON). We exist to organise nurses and our supporters to take action so that we, and our patients, can live in a society where we have the freedom to be healthy.
As a member-led organisation, our members set the standards of behaviour that we hold. These guidelines apply to how we behave with each other, our partners and external audiences.
This guide does not replace our Code of Conduct as nurses, which applies to us in and outside of our workplaces. However, NU views nursing as inherently political, and this guide empowers us to carry out our roles to advocate for ourselves and our patients in our activism and our clinical practice.
Who does this apply to?
People can get involved in NU through a variety of avenues. These guidelines apply to the following members of our community:
- Our staff: NU’s paid employees, including people employed on temporary and fixed-term contracts and contractors/freelance workers we work with.
- Our Core Leadership Team (CLT) and other governance structures – members of NU who set the strategic direction of NU and hold our staff and activists to account in their work.
- Our Members – a member of Nurses United is defined as someone who pays a membership fee and identifies as a Nurse, these include:
- A Registered Nurse on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register
- A qualified nurse – this will include nurses who have retired or taken a career break
- A Student or Apprentice Nurse
- A member of the Nursing field, this includes, but is not limited to:
- Associate Practitioners
- Nurse Associates
- Nursing Assistants
- Healthcare Assistants
- Our Supporters – someone who supports our work and wants to become more involved within our campaigns to improve nursing and our NHS, but is not eligible to be a full member of Nurses United. Our Supporters donate to Nurses United monthly to support our cause and have access to some of our updates and activities, including training and information on how to support our actions.
- Our friends and allies – People who support our activities and actions, who are not paying members.
Where does this apply?
Our work takes place within our homes, communities and workplaces. Therefore, this guide applies to:
- Face to Face communication
- Print media: Content produced under NU’s brand and our contributions to other print media
- Telecommunications: this includes, but is not limited to, phone calls, text messages, emails and platforms such as Whatsapp.
- Online: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms, and our online website.
What are Nurses United’s standards of behaviour?
Here are our values, which inform our standards of behaviour:
- Hope: Through our beliefs and motivation, we can push ourselves through the barriers we face and encourage each other to move forward towards positive outcomes.
- Justice: As nurses, working across all areas of practice and our communities, we are always committed to doing what is right for all of us.
- Courage: is what allows us to push boundaries and win. We step outside our comfort zones to make change through courageous acts.
- Solidarity: We work with our allies and across the social justice movement to challenge the impact of systemic inequalities. We know when we work together, we are stronger.
- Responsiveness: Through responding speedily, effectively and appropriately to our priorities, we provide meaningful support and promote organised actions with high impact.
In practice, this means that:
- Promotes a better world for nurses and works towards the freedom to be healthy
- Centres justice and ensures that we are positively and respectfully engaging with our current and potential allies
- Promotes constructive feedback which moves people to better positions and builds bridges
- Challenges ideas and not people to help bring us to the best position
- Supports each other to consider the space we take up and how we share and take responsibility for this
- Recognises that all nurses and patients can be leaders and invested in building power throughout our communities
- Allow people to experience joy and encourage them to get involved
- Role model our values and encourage people to take on further meaningful actions
- Recognise that our work is essential and that people are trying to help effect positive change
- Provide an outlet to people’s frustrations and recognise that people’s lives are challenging and they may need to take a break
- Protect our right to confidentiality and a safe space to share information, so that we can all learn and build community in confidence
We do not support
- Discriminates against Race, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Class, Political or Union Affiliation, Age and Religious belief
- Promotes groups or ideologies which promote or support hate and/or false information
- Is used to stop people from wanting to participate in our actions or silence them
- Is counterproductive and unnecessarily critical, used to gain a personal win and/or take up unnecessary space with the intention to waste other people’s time
- Promotes a hierarchy within healthcare and diminishes the contribution of nurses at any stage of their career
- Are violent and/or designed to cause significant emotional harm to people
- Are tokenistic and not designed to develop tangible changes for nurses and our patients
- Assume that there is only one way to campaign or build power
- Do not treat people as human beings and/or acknowledge that we need to take breaks and can make mistakes
- Use our platforms for different things to our core aims
This list is not exhaustive and is continuously evolving as we develop what Nurses United is. If you have any questions or thoughts on how we can improve our standards in line with our values or are unsure if something may be in breach of them, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do we do when our standards are broken?
If you think that our standards have been breached or you would like to give us feedback, you should contact us at the following email address: email@example.com. This inbox is reviewed regularly by our Lead Organiser and you will receive a return email to acknowledge receipt.
Once the email has been reviewed within the above guidelines, and if it is considered a complaint, the following process will be followed:
- The Lead Organiser will confirm that the email falls within our complaints procedure and outline the process moving forward.
- The Lead Organiser will then assess the complaint within 10 working days (should this need to be extended, you will be contacted to confirm this).
- The Lead Organiser will discuss their recommendation with the Convenor of Nurses United’s CLT and NEON’s Head of Organising within 2 working days to ensure transparency and accountability in the decision.
- Within 14 working days of the complaint being reviewed, you will receive the outcome of your complaint. The outcome of the complaint will be communicated to all parties concerned. This could include the need to investigate the complaint further, depending on the need to gather further information to conclude your complaint.
Please note: in line with our community guidelines and values, we assess all concerns and complaints in a fair and just way and will work with all parties concerned to seek the best outcome.
What if our standards are broken again?
Examples of behaviour that fall outside of our Community Guidelines are listed above. Should behaviour, that falls outside of our Community Guidelines, re-occur, we may escalate the process and take previous complaints into consideration.
What happens if we consider a breach to be serious?
We also reserve the right to immediately escalate serious breaches of our guidelines to our CLT, should it be deemed necessary.
What happens if the complaint is about the person who oversees the complaints process?
If a complaint is about the person who oversees the complaints procedure, currently the Lead Organiser, it should be addressed to the Convenor of Nurses United at firstname.lastname@example.org. In this circumstance, the Convenor would discuss their recommendation with NEON’s Head of Organising and a member of the NU’s CLT to ensure that their decision is transparent and fair.
How do I appeal the outcome of a complaint?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can request an appeal, by return email, within 5 working days of receiving the outcome. A CLT member, who is independent of the initial investigation of the complaint, will then be assigned your request and will confirm whether it has been upheld within 10 working days.
What do we do when you want to give us feedback or constructive criticism?
The feedback is informal and I think that Nurses United would find it useful, it does not require a response
Please contact us at email@example.com with the feedback clearly addressed to the person you want to give feedback to. Please be clear about whether or not the feedback is formal or informal.
The feedback is formal or a constructive criticism and it requires a response
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the feedback clearly addressed to the person you want to give feedback to. Please be clear about whether or not the feedback is formal or informal. We will aim to respond to formal feedback within 20 working days.
Download our Guidelines
A copy of our Community Guidelines can be downloaded below: