Press Release

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

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

Registered nurses at HCA-affiliated Las Palmas Medical Center (LPMC) in El Paso 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 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Las Palmas Medical Center, 1801 N. Oregon St., El Paso, Texas

Nurses also plan informational pickets at four other HCA-affiliated hospitals on the same date, July 24, in the following locations: Corpus Christi Medical Center in Corpus Christi, 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. Well over a third of the registered nurses, 36.5 percent, have worked at LPMC for less than 18 months, while over two-thirds, 67.7 percent, have worked there for less than three years. Only 12.8 percent have worked at the hospital for more than ten years.

“Building strong teams is a vital component to our providing patients with optimal care so reducing turnover is extremely important,” said Carmen Acevedo, an RN in the Medical Surgical Unit. “I’ve worked at this hospital for 26 years and because of this I’m able to contribute a deep and broad knowledge to patient care, and support the development of other RNs. Strong recruitment and retention of RNs supports quality patient care.”

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, out of compliance with the hospital’s own staffing grid, including the Intensive Care Unit, 38.7 percent of the time, and the Neuro Intensive Care Unit, 46.7 percent of the time.

“As patient advocates we are committed to providing our patients with the care they need without delay,” said Andrew Latham, an RN in the Intensive Care Unit. ”That’s why we’re urging the hospital to take immediate steps to reduce turnover and ensure optimal care by investing in the recruitment and retention of RNs. They have the resources to invest in patient care, especially as beneficiaries of huge tax cuts under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed earlier this year.”

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 388 registered nurses at Las Palmas 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.