Press Release

Citing Turnover, Nurses Urge HCA-Affiliated, Corpus Christi Medical Center, to Invest in RN Staff and Patient Care

Informational Picket – Tuesday, July 24, 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Registered nurses at HCA-affiliated Corpus Christi Medical Center will hold an informational picket July 24, urging hospital management to address RN turnover rates and consistently comply with staffing grids. This will improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care, say nurses.

What: RNs Plan Informational Picket, Urge Management to Address Turnover Rates and Invest in Retaining Nursing Staff
When: Tuesday - July 24, 6 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Where: Corpus Christi Medical Center-Bay Area
7101 S. Padre Island Dr., Corpus Christi, Texas.

Nurses also plan informational pickets at four other HCA-affiliated hospitals on the same date, July 24, in the following locations: Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, Fawcett Memorial Hospital, Port Charlotte, Fla., Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, Fla., and MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, Nev. Earlier this month registered nurses also held informational pickets at six other HCA-affiliated hospitals in Florida.

The hospital’s turnover rates are borne out in their own data, which nurses obtained through an information request. A third of the registered nurses at Corpus Christi Medical Center have worked there for less than 18 months, while half the RNs have worked there for less than three years.

“We are holding the picket because we want our hospital to use its resources to excel in patient care and that means reducing the turnover rate,” said Kimberly Smith, an RN at the Doctors Regional Intensive Care Unit. “We know they have the resources to retain seasoned nurses for the benefit of our patients, especially as recipients of huge tax cuts under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.”

The hospital’s data also reveals difficulties in complying with their own staffing grids. Data supplied by the hospital covering the month of January 2018, shows various units at Corpus Christi Medical Center – Bay Area, out of compliance with the staffing grids, including Neonatal Services, which was out of compliance 40 percent of the time, the Medical Surgical Unit, 50 percent of the time, and the Telemetry Unit, 61 percent of the time.

“We want the hospital to ensure optimal care by taking immediate steps to reduce turnover and more consistently comply with the staffing grid,” said Sylvia Trevino Higgins, Bay Area Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. ”We’re holding an informational picket because as patient advocates we want to provide our patients with the care they need without delay.”

One purpose of a hospital staffing grid is to assure that there are enough nurses to attend to patients' needs in a safe and timely way, taking under consideration the kinds of care required in each unit, including the degree of acuity or sickness. 

The 645 registered nurses at Corpus Christi Medical Center are members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee, NNOC/Texas. Their contract expired June 30, 2018 and they are in ongoing contract negotiations. NNOC/Texas is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the United States with 150,000 members. NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.