Research in Action Award
Bonnie Castillo, RN, Executive Director of National Nurses United (NNU), California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), is accepting a Research in Action Award on behalf of NNU.
National Nurses United, with more than 150,000 members nationwide, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history. NNU was founded in 2009 unifying three of the most active, progressive organizations in the U.S.—and the major voices of unionized nurses—in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association. Combining the unparalleled record of accomplishments for nurses and patients embodied in the proud history of those nurses associations, which for some span more than 100 years, the establishment of NNU brought to life the dream of a powerful, national movement of direct care RNs. NNU affiliate members are renowned as leading advocates of guaranteed healthcare by expanding and updating Medicare to cover all Americans, for negotiating many of the best collective bargaining contracts for RNs in the nation, and for sponsorship of innovative legislation and regulatory protections for patients and nurses.
Bonnie has led National Nurses United through the union’s response to Covid-19. Beginning in January 2020, NNU wrote letters to every major organization and government entity it could, demanding the highest level of protections for nurses and health care workers; held actions at facilities across the country; conducted surveys of nurses on the front lines; and tracked nurse and health care workers deaths from Covid-19.
Before being named as executive director in 2018, she was the director of the
Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a disaster relief program run by NNU that places registered nurse volunteers where they are needed after man-made and natural catastrophes. She has coordinated RN volunteers to help in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, super typhoon Haiyan, hurricanes Katrina, Harvey (Texas) and Maria (Puerto Rico), and elsewhere.
Bonnie also held the positions of CNA/NNOC director of Government Relations and NNU Director of Health and Safety. She has been with CNA/NNOC for almost two decades in a number of important capacities, working her way up into the leadership of the organization from her early days as a registered nurse member who helped to unionize her facility, to staff and then lead organizer, to a director, and now to her current position as executive director.