Press Release

Citing Turnover Rates, Nurses Urge Research Medical Center in Kansas City to Take Active Measures to Ensure Optimal Patient Care

Patients Deserve Safe Staffing

Informational Picket – Friday June 22, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

“This isn’t about a ‘nursing shortage,’ this is about the hospital investing in the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs for the benefit of our patients.”

Registered nurses at the HCA-affiliated hospital, Research Medical Center, will hold an informational picket and rally on Friday, June 22, to urge that hospital management take active measures to reduce the hospital’s RN turnover rate and bring the hospital into consistent compliance with its own staffing grid. This is how the hospital will improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care at RMC, say nurses.

What: Registered nurses hold informational picket and rally at Research Medical Center
When: Friday - June 22, 5 - 8 p.m.
Where: Research Medical Center, 2316 East Meyer Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. (on the Meyer Blvd. sidewalk directly in front of the hospital)

The hospital’s turnover rates and difficulties in complying with its own staffing grid are borne out in the hospital’s own data which nurses obtained through an information request. In 2017, RMC managed to hire 188 RNs, but lost nearly as many, 169 RNs, in the same year. Data covering the period June 1, 2008 through June 1, 2018, shows that the hospital has been able to retain only 18 percent of its RNs for more than 10 years. Over half of the hospital’s nurses, 58 percent, have been there for three years or less, with 35 percent of those at the hospital less than 18 months.

“The retention of RN staff is what allows us to build strong teams of experienced RNs to provide our patients with optimal care,” said Leslie Rogers, RN, OR. “I’ve worked at this hospital for 43 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. This isn’t about a ‘nursing shortage,’ this is about the hospital investing in the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs for the benefit of our patients.”

Data supplied from the hospital also indicates that Research Medical Center is regularly out of compliance with its own staffing grid. 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. 

According to the most recent data supplied by the hospital, documenting numerous shifts throughout the month of December 2017, many units were out of compliance with the staffing grid a large percentage of the time. For example on the days for which documentation was obtained, 4E, Inpatient Oncology was out of compliance by 66 percent, 3N, Medical Care, by 84 percent, Ortho/Neuro/ Trauma, by 52 percent, 4W, Progressive Care Unit, a critical care unit, by 44 percent, ICU, by 21 percent, 5E, Nephrology/Metabolic, by 53 percent, and 4N, Cardiac Tele, another critical care unit, by 70 percent.

“As nurses we are committed to providing our patients with the best care possible and we know that staffing is a key ingredient for timely, safe care,” said Bessie Gray, an RN in the Labor and Delivery Unit. “That’s why we are urging the hospital to take proactive steps to consistently comply with its staffing grid.”

“As the recipient of huge tax cuts under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed earlier this year the hospital has the resources to comply with its staffing grid and address the turnover rates by improving wages and health benefits,” said Cheryl Rodarmel, RN, Rehab Unit. “These tax cuts should be used to benefit patient care in the ways we are suggesting.”

The 698 registered nurses at Research Medical Center, affiliated with the National Nurses Organizing Committee, NNOC/MO, are in ongoing contract negotiations and their contract expired May 31, 2018. NNOC/MO 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.