Press Release

California Nurses Association demand patient safeguards against artificial intelligence technology

Nurses marching holding signs "Trust Nurses, Not AI" and "Patients Are Not Algorithms"

Hundreds of concerned nurses from across the state to protest at Kaiser Permanente’s San Francisco Medical Center

On Monday, April 22, hundreds of registered nurses and members of California Nurses Association (CNA) from across the state will hold a protest at Kaiser Permanente (KP)’s San Francisco Medical Center to highlight their patient safety concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) technology and the hospital industry’s rush to implement untested and unregulated AI.

“It is deeply troubling to see Kaiser promote itself as a leader in AI in health care, when we know their use of these technologies comes at the expense of patient care, all in service of boosting profits,” said Michelle Gutierrez Vo, a longtime registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente Fremont Medical Center and CNA president. “Nurses are all for tech that enhances our skills and the patient care experience. But what we are witnessing in our hospitals is the degradation and devaluation of our nursing practice through the use of these untested technologies. As patient advocates, we are obligated to speak out. We demand that workers and unions be involved at every step of the development of data-driven technologies and be empowered to decide whether and how AI is deployed in the workplace.”

The action coincides with the start of KP International’s Integrated Care Experience conference. While the nurses are protesting at Kaiser, one of the earliest adopters of AI technology, other hospital systems are also busy implementing similar AI pilots and programs. CNA represents 24,000 nurses within the KP system.

  • Who: Registered nurses from across California
    What: Protest for patient safeguards against AI technology
    When: Monday, April 22, 2024, 12 p.m.
    Where: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center
    2425 Geary Blvd., San Francisco

“I have been a Kaiser nurse for more than 40 years, and I promise you, union nurses will never stop fighting for a health care system that guarantees person-to-person, hands-on care for every patient,” said Cathy Kennedy, a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center and a president of CNA. “Human expertise and clinical judgment are the only ways to ensure safe, effective, and equitable nursing care. We know there is nothing inevitable about AI’s advancement into health care. No patient should be a guinea pig and no nurse should be replaced by a robot.”

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.