Press Release

Nurses at Kansas City-area hospitals to rally as they begin new union contract negotiations with HCA

Long line of nurses holdings signs "Staff Up for Safe Patient Care"

RNs demand better for nurses and patients

Nurses represented by National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) at two hospitals in the Kansas City area will rally on March 12 as they begin negotiations on a new union contract with HCA, the largest hospital chain in the United States. 

Nurses who work at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., and at Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Kan., will see their current contracts expire on May 31. Nurses say they’re prepared to make demands for their new agreements that will improve patient care by addressing critical issues with staffing, safety, and services at their hospitals.

“HCA is the largest for-profit health care corporation in the country and has the resources to set the standard for health care across the nation,” said Jake Liston, a registered nurse in the emergency department at Research Medical Center. “However, in their quest to rake in massive profits, HCA continually pushes lower standards of care by cutting services and slashing staff. As nurses who are committed to our patients, we will always put patients over profits. We are going into these contract negotiations to demand HCA act on our concerns, address the chronic staffing issues, and do better by our patients and our community.”  

  • Who: Nurses with HCA’s Research Medical Center and Menorah Medical Center
  • What: Contract bargaining kick-off rally
  • When: Tuesday, March 12, 8-8:45 a.m.
  • Where: Research Medical Center, 2316 E. Meyer Blvd, Kansas City, Mo. 
  • RNs will gather on the Meyer Blvd sidewalk, south of entrance A. 

Patient care issues:

  • Nurses retention is a chronic problem at the Research Medical Center and Menorah Medical Center due to the poor working conditions and chronic understaffing. In 2023, 89 nurses left Menorah and 150 nurses left Research.
  • Due in part to this loss of experienced nurses hospital wide, HCA management is now demanding nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU) be sent to other units. This leaves nurses in the ICU to care for up to three patients, when the standard care is two patients to one nurse or one-to-one for the most fragile patients.
  • Emergency room nurses are deeply concerned HCA is transferring new ER patients from neighboring ERs into our hospitals without increasing staffing. These transfers are happening even when there are multiple patients being housed in the ER who should have been admitted to other units in the hospital. The lack of nurses hospital wide means these patients can be left in ER hallways and waiting areas for hours or even days.

“We are seeing experienced nurses leave our hospitals because they are suffering moral injury and moral distress because they can’t take care of their patients in the way they want to,” said Cheryl Rodarmel, a registered nurse in the rehabilitation unit at Research Medical Center. “As nurses, we get into this profession to be there to address the physical, emotional, and educational needs of our patients. But we can’t do that when we are running from room to room just trying to keep up with the basics. That is not the way we would want our family members cared for, and that is not how we want to care for our patients. We are demanding HCA give us the staffing and resources we need to provide the wholistic care all our patients deserve and need.”

“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, a registered nurse and California Nurses Association/NNOC president. “Our Kansas and Missouri nurses are excited to stand with HCA nurses in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and Nevada. Together, we are a mighty, righteous force ready to hold HCA’s feet to the fire to demand they respect nurses and our patients.” 

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, 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. 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 No. 30 on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans.

National Nurses Organizing Committee represents more than 1,000 nurses in the Kansas City area at Research and Menorah medical centers. NNOC is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the United States today.