Press Release

Nurses at Mercy Medical Center Redding to hold informational picket for patient safety

Nurse holds signs "Safe Staffing Now"

Registered nurses at Mercy Medical Center Redding in Redding, Calif. will hold an informational picket on Wednesday, May 26 to alert the community of staffing concerns that erode patient safety, announced California Nurses Association (CNA) today.

Over the past year and a half RNs have worked the front lines tirelessly to keep patients and each other safe. Unfortunately, management is now trying to implement a new floating practice as a way to solve the hospital’s chronic short staffing problem. Floating is a management practice where nurses are reassigned to units of the hospital where they do not normally work. When short staffing occurs in one unit, management is moving RNs from their scheduled department to work in another unit.

  • What: Informational picket and RN media availability to confront the hospital’s efforts to undermine safe staffing and patient care standards set by California law
  • When: Wednesday, May 26, 7:30 a.m–9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Mercy Medical Center Redding, 2175 Rosaline Ave, Redding, Calif., 96001

For example, the hospital is proposing to float RNs scheduled to the ICU to less critical units, which would leave the critical care unit short staffed. This would violate California’s safe staffing law by assigning too many patients for nurses to care for. Currently the ICU night shift is staffed with a majority of temporary, traveler nurses, not Mercy Medical Center Redding staff nurses, to cover the short staffing.

Additionally, the hospital’s proposed solution for short staffing is not to hire more nurses, but to require nurses to work rotating shifts, which means regularly switching from day to night shifts, which is not safe for patients or nurses because RNs will not be in optimal condition to care for them.

“The words dignity, respect, and human kindness, the forefront slogan of the hospital is not being reflected," said Matt Olkowski, RN Negotiator. “The proposal from the hospital would greatly increase the risk to our patients and put our licenses at risk.”

Additionally, nurses say that the hospital’s staffing issue makes it difficult to recruit and retain experienced nurses who are critical to mentoring newer nurses and to providing optimal patient care. The union has made proposals to address retention and recruitment, but the hospital has rejected them.

If you are interested in sending a camera crew to the press conference or in learning more about the situation at Mercy Medical Center Redding, registered nurses will be available to speak to the press.

CNA represents 750 registered nurses at Mercy Medical Center Redding.