The following is the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) weekly news roundup, highlighting nursing and health care stories from around the state.

In Face of National Declines Nurses Unions Look to Expand in South Jersey (NJ Spotlight)
As the number of hospitals shrinks, the number of nurses who belong to a union has decreased accordingly. In just the past five years, the community of unionized nurses has fallen off by 11 percent. At the same time, New Jersey’s nurses unions have been affected by hospital closures and the shift to for-profit health care. But unions are trying expand the number of facilities they represent, arguing that this will allow nurses to have a larger say in how hospitals operate — and will also swell the rank of unionized nurses.

Inspira executive honored with Woodbury Chamber’s Founder’s Cup Award (South Jersey Times)
Eileen K. Cardile, president and CEO, Inspira Medical Center, and executive vice president, Inspira Health Network, has been named the 2014 winner of the Greater Woodbury Chamber of Commerce Founder’s Cup Award for her exemplary community work. Cardile started her career as a staff nurse in surgical intensive care at the University of Pennsylvania and has logged more than 40 years in the health care field, noting that from an early age “I knew I wanted to be a nurse.”

Appellate Court upholds Hunterdon County Polytech shared nurse agreement (Hunterdon County Democrat)
The State Superior Court Appellate Division has upheld the decision of an administrative law judge for Hunterdon County Polytech to enter into a shared services agreement for school nurse services with Hunterdon Central Regional High School and dismiss its school nurse. According to the court opinion, Peggy Prezioso, a tenured certified school nurse employed by the Polytech Career Academy Board of Education, maintained that Polytech improperly eliminated her position as its sole state-certified school nurse and its agreement with the neighboring school district to provide certified nursing services is invalid.