Press Release

Nurses Urge Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Blake Medical Center in Bradenton to Take Steps to Ensure Optimal Patient Care

Florida RNs Put Patients First

Informational Pickets – Thursday July 12, 6 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

RNs Also Plan Pickets at HCA-Affiliated Hospitals in Kissimmee, Brooksville and St. Petersburg

Registered nurses at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Blake Medical Center of Bradenton will hold an informational picket on Thursday, July 12, to urge management to address RN staff turnover and comply with the hospitals’ staffing grids. This will improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care, say nurses.

What: Informational Picket by Registered Nurses
When: Thursday, July 12, 6 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Where: Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, Fla and
Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton, Fla.

Registered nurses will also hold pickets at HCA-affiliated hospitals in the following locations on the same date, July 12, 6 – 8 a.m.:  St. Petersburg General Hospital and Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville, and Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee.

“As patient advocates, it’s our job to speak up for the conditions that support optimal care,” said Brandie Stewart, RN, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Blake Medical Center. “We want our hospital to address the turnover rate in nursing staff and take active measures to make sure all units are in compliance with the hospital’s own staffing grid.”

According to data provided by Blake Medical Center documenting the month of January 2018, numerous units were out of compliance with the hospital’s staffing grid. For example, the Burn Unit, which at the that time was in 2N, was 95 percent out of compliance, and the CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit) was over 25 percent out of compliance.

The hospitals’ turnover rates are also borne out in their own data, which nurses obtained through an information request. At Blake Medical Center, over 55 percent of the RNs have been employed at the hospital for less than three years, with over 40 percent there less than 18 months. At Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, nearly half the nurses, 46 percent, have been at the hospital for less than three years.

“I’ve worked at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota for 30 years and because of this I’m able to support the development of other RNs and make a tremendous contribution to patient care,” said Anna McGrath, RN, Recovery Room. “We know they have the resources to address the turnover rate here by investing in the recruitment and retention of RNs, especially since they received huge tax cuts under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.”

The RNs at the HCA-affiliated hospitals conducting the pickets on July 12 are members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee, NNOC/Florida. Their contract expired May 31, 2018 and they are in ongoing contract negotiations. NNOC/Florida 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.