Press Release

Alvarado Hospital Medical Center Losing Experienced RNs to Other Area Hospitals

Wednesday - Press Conference 12 Noon

Nurses Call on Management to Stabilize RN Workforce, Ensure Quality Patient Care

Registered nurses at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center (AHMC) will speak out on how the loss of experienced registered nurses is impacting the quality of patient care at a press conference on Wednesday. The nurses are calling on hospital management to stanch the flow of RNs to the UC San Diego Medical Center and other area hospitals by improving working conditions at the hospital.
Alvarado management has been unwilling to seriously invest in its nursing staff and this has resulted in an inability to recruit and retain experienced RNs, say nurses, citing a turnover rate of 41% in 2015. The turnover rate is up to 70% in telemetry units and during the night shift in these units, the majority of the staff are new graduates. The telemetry unit is a specialty unit where RNs monitor, assess and treat acute care patients that have had strokes or have other medical conditions that require accurate and continuous cardiac monitoring.
"The rate of RNs leaving the hospital to work elsewhere is more than triple the national average for acute care hospitals," said Maricela Mauricio, RN ICU. "According to management, 104 RNs left the hospital last year. Further unwillingness to listen to RN concerns will accelerate nurses leaving the hospital in even larger numbers."
What:  Press Conference - RNs Demand Hospital Stanch High Turnover Rate, Stabilize RN Workforce
When: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 - 12 Noon
Where: Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, 6655 Alvarado Rd, San Diego, Ca.

Nurses are concerned that under current management practices, AHMC has essentially become a training ground for new nurses who then leave after a couple years for better employment conditions at U.C.S.D. Medical Center and other area hospitals. The hospital’s growing dependence on new graduates is particularly troubling, say nurses, since the pool of experienced RNs that mentor and train the new grads is shrinking.
"As a long-term RN and nursing professor I am very aware of the needs of nurses that have recently graduated from nursing school. They need continued support and mentoring once on the job. An environment without sufficient resource nurses and with drastic nurse turnover is the opposite of what these nurses need," said Leslie McEwan, an RN in the Surgical Department and nurse educator.
"We cannot sustain another year of over 100 RNs leaving this hospital. We call on management to invest in this hospital so we can retain experienced RNs, properly train the new grads and give our patients and the community we serve the quality care they deserve," said McEwan
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United represents 259 RNs at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center who have been trying to negotiate an agreement since June 2015 with little progress on key issues of patient safety, including high rates of attrition and turnover of experienced RNs due to deteriorating work conditions. Other issues brought forth by the nurses include the development of strong programs to ensure safe patient handling and prevent infectious disease and workplace violence.