Press Release

Florida Gulf Coast nurses from eight HCA hospitals to rally as they begin new union contract negotiations

Large group of nurses outside HCA Florida Largo Hospital hold signs calling for safe staffing and other protections

RNs plan to demand better for nurses and patients

Nurses represented by National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) at eight Gulf Coast hospitals in the Tampa, Fla., area will hold three rallies on March 4 as they begin negotiations on a new union contract with HCA, the largest hospital chain in the United States.

Current contracts for nurses at eight hospitals in western Florida (list below) will expire May 31. Nurses say they’re prepared to make demands in new agreements that will improve patient care by addressing critical issues with staffing, safety, and services at their hospitals. 

“HCA is the biggest health system out there,” said Leah Yeary, RN at HCA Florida Blake Hospital in Bradenton. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into the best care for our patients. In reality, it seems they’re just focused on the biggest profits possible. That’s why we’ll be fighting for better patient care in our new contract.”

In a new NNOC/NNU survey of nurses involved in HCA bargaining, 68 percent of nurses said they infrequently or never had enough staffing coverage to take their meal and rest breaks. Additionally, 84 percent said their assignments and responsibilities had increased in recent years, while 72 percent said patient care quality had decreased.

"HCA has been asking us to do more with less for too long," said Martin Peebles, RN at HCA Florida Largo Hospital. "Our patients will always get the best from us as nurses, but we all deserve better than what HCA is offering. We're asking HCA for the things we need to give our patients the highest quality care."

Who: Nurses from eight HCA hospitals in western Florida
What: Contract bargaining kick-off rally
When: Monday, March 4, 8 a.m. for all three rallies
Where: Three rallies will be held at the following locations:
HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital
11375 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613

HCA Florida Largo Hospital
201 14th St. SW, Largo, FL 33770

HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital
21298 Olean Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33952

Nurses from other nearby hospitals will join these rallies to kick off their bargaining, as well:

  • HCA Florida Trinity Hospital in Trinity
  • HCA Florida Blake Hospital in Bradenton
  • HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital in Sarasota
  • HCA Florida St. Petersburg Hospital in St. Petersburg
  • HCA Florida Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg 

“Nurses at HCA facilities across the country will be bargaining new contracts in the coming months,” said Judy Vendegna, RN at HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital. “We’re ready to come to the table, and we expect management to be ready to agree on how to improve patient care and nurses’ working conditions in our hospitals. ”

“This is going to be a historic year for thousands of nurses at HCA hospitals across the country, as NNOC/NNU will be bargaining at 18 hospitals in six states,” said Cathy Kennedy, RN and California Nurses Association/NNOC president. “Nurses in Orlando and Tampa will kick things off, and they won’t be alone as nurses in Texas, North Carolina, Kansas, Missouri, and Nevada will all be at the bargaining table in the coming months.”

The day following these Tampa-area rallies, NNOC/NNU nurses at Orlando-area HCA facilities will also hold rallies to kick off their bargaining.

HCA, the largest health system in the country, advertises over 180 hospitals in its network. The company self-reported over $5.2 billion in profits in 2023 but regularly shuts down vital health services at its hospitals. According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, HCA has reported more than $31.7 billion in profits since 2018 and executive compensation totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. HCA co-founder and major shareholder Thomas Frist, Jr., is reportedly among the 100 richest people on the planet, clocking in at around No. 60 on Bloomberg’s list of the world’s richest and at around No. 30 on the Forbes list of the 400 richest people in the United States with an estimated net worth of $25 to $27 billion.

National Nurses Organizing Committee represents a total of nearly 2,500 nurses at HCA facilities in western Florida. NNOC is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing union of registered nurses in the United States today, with nearly 225,000 members nationwide.