Press Release

Asheville nurses to protest HCA contract proposals that endanger patient care

RNs at Mission Asheville holding signs and banner "Patients' needs over HCA/FRIST greed" and "Hey HCA, put patients over profits"

RNs demand serious proposals to improve staffing at Mission Hospital

Registered nurses at HCA-owned Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., will hold a rally on June 19 to protest HCA’s failure to seriously address nurses’ concerns in contract negotiations. Nurses are represented by National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) in negotiations.

“Nurses at Mission have been consistent and clear about how HCA is failing the people of Asheville and Western North Carolina with the cuts it’s made at our hospital,” said Kol Wilds, RN in the general surgical unit. “The entire world has taken notice. This contract fight is about fixing what HCA has broken at our hospital, and ensuring a better future for nurses and all our patients.”

The RNs' current contract expires on July 2, but nurses report that in bargaining sessions, HCA has been focused on shortchanging nurses and their patients, whose care conditions are directly impacted by working conditions at the facility.

  • Who:    Nurses at HCA-owned Mission Hospital
  • What:   Protest to demand a strong contract
  • When:  Wednesday, June 19, 8 a.m.
  • Where: 509 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, N.C.; on the corner of Biltmore and Hospital Dr.

“HCA responded to all the regulatory scrutiny they’ve faced by bringing in travel nurses on short-term,” said Lori Wooton, RN in the cardiovascular intensive care unit. “Nurses refuse to let HCA return to the unsafe status quo that brought on all this scrutiny. Our contract fight is about safely staffing Mission Hospital, so every patient gets the best care possible.”

“A big part of our fight is meal and rest breaks,” said Grayce Shockley, RN in the float pool. “Part of safe staffing is ensuring nurses on 12-hour shifts have a chance to eat, hydrate, and use the bathroom, and ensuring that our patients are cared for while we do so. We’re fighting for a hospital where nurses and patients are all taken care of.”

HCA, the largest health system in the country, advertises over 180 hospitals in its network. The company self-reported over $5.2 billion in profits in 2023 but regularly shuts down vital health services at its hospitals. According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, HCA has reported over $31.7 billion in profits since 2018 and executive compensation totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

HCA co-founder and major shareholder Thomas Frist, Jr., who has extensive experience serving as an executive at HCA, currently ranks in the top 75 of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans and the top 60 of the Bloomberg Billionaire Index of the world’s 500 richest people, with an estimated net worth of nearly $30 billion.

NNOC/NNU represents more than 1,600 nurses at Mission Hospital and around 10,000 nurses at HCA facilities nationwide. NNOC/NNU nurses are currently negotiating new contracts at 17 HCA hospitals in six states.

National Nurses Organizing Committee is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide. NNU affiliates also include California Nurses Association, DC Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and New York State Nurses Association.