Press Release

Cincinnati VA nurses to hold informational picket to protest unsafe staffing, mismanagement of VA resources

Nurses outside holding signs "VA Nurses: Protecting America's Heroes"

Veterans to join RNs at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center protest 

Registered nurses at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, will hold an informational picket on Thursday, May 30, 2024, to highlight their patient safety concerns, including mismanagement of VA staff by Cincinnati VA executives, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) today.

Instead of hiring nurses to staff the newly reopened nursing home, the Community Living Center (CLC), management has decided to take more than 70 percent of the float pool RNs to staff the CLC and outpatient units, which would leave the inpatient medical-surgical and intensive care units very short-staffed. Nurses in the float team do not have the experience or expertise to work in the CLC or outpatient units.

Nurses say this mismanagement of staffing resources will result in nurses leaving the ICU, medical-surgical units, and the float team. Management refuses to meet with nurses to discuss the RNs’ concerns and the administration still intends to go ahead with this staffing plan in June, which will create a staffing crisis.

“RNs demand to have input in resolving their concerns about unsafe staffing, the mismanagement of resources, and unjustified changes in their schedules,” said Shana Rivera, RN. “Management wants to take float pool RNs and move them to areas where they do not have expertise or experience This is a different type of nursing that requires special skills.”

Who:  RNs at Cincinnati VA Medical Center
What: Informational picket to protest unsafe staffing
When: Thursday, May 30, 11:30 a.m.
Where: Across from the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, 3200 Vine Street, Cincinnati

“It is like having a cardiologist operate on your brain, or having a plumber do your electrical work,” said Rivera.

“As a veteran, I expect management to act in the interests of veteran care,” said Morgan Anderson, RN. “But what I see at the Cincinnati VA is management acting in the interest of their ego. Veteran care comes in last.”

The RNs held an informational picket in April to highlight their deep concerns about patient care if the administration went ahead with plans to reassign float team RNs. 

VA nurses also call on Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to encourage Congress to pass the VA Employee Fairness Act, which would grant RNs full bargaining rights so they can improve care at the VA. Nurses say passing the VA Employee Fairness Act will enable NNU

to bargain over staffing issues, which will result in better outcomes for veterans and nurses.

NNOC/NNU represents nearly/more than 670 registered nurses at Cincinnati VA Medical Center.

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.