The Estonian Nurses Union is both a professional organisation and a trade union.
As a professional organisation, we are active in developing nursing as a profession at every level:
- We propose changes to laws and regulations to ensure that the legislative framework provides opportunities that best assist patients and support the work of nurses.
- We are active participants in international nursing organisations and we help bring European best practices, discussions and innovations to the Estonian healthcare sector and to local discussions, ensuring the consistent development of nursing in our country.
- We are at the forefront of discussions and development work on nursing at various levels, leading the implementation of the nursing and midwifery development strategy in our nursing development council, the legislative agreement on the basic competences, rights and responsibilities of healthcare professionals and much more.
- We participate in the development of the Estonian healthcare system in cooperation with higher education institutions, the Health Insurance Fund, the Health Board, the Ministry of Social Affairs and many others.
- We help to popularise the field of nursing, publish the magazine Eesti Õde and mediate the latest knowledge in the field both in Estonia and internationally.
- We offer high-quality training for our members, and we organise the assessment of the competences of nurses and specialist nurses.
The Union concerns itself with the sustainability and continuity of the healthcare system. There is a shortage of nurses all over Europe, but the situation in Estonia is somewhat more complicated – the areas of responsibility are expanding, new positions are being added, the workload of nurses is growing and too many nurses are working in multiple positions. Remuneration does not match the workload and responsibility. In Estonia, an additional 4,000 nurses would be needed for healthcare to become people-centred so that we could provide high-quality healthcare.
As a trade union, the Estonian Nurses Union stands for better working conditions and remuneration for nurses, specialist nurses and professional care workers. It is very important for us that nurses be able to do their job in the best possible way. There is a need to maintain the mental and physical health of workers and to ensure a fair workload. The Union represents nurses, specialist nurses and professional care workers in collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
As a trade union, we offer our members support in dealing with issues concerning employment law and resolving labour disputes. We represent and defend the employment and professional rights and interests of nurses before employers and their associations, state and local government agencies.