Press Release

Nurses Urge HCA-Affiliated Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte to Ensure Optimal Patient Care

Florida RNs Put Patients First

Informational Picket – Tuesday, July 24, 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Registered nurses at HCA-affiliated Fawcett Memorial Hospital (FMH) in Port Charlotte will hold an informational picket July 24, urging hospital management to address RN turnover rates and consistently comply with staffing grids. This will improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care, say nurses.

What: RNs Plan Informational Picket, Urge Management to Address Turnover Rates and Invest in Retaining Nursing Staff
When: Tuesday - July 24, 6 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Where: Fawcett Memorial Hospital, 21298 Olean Blvd. Port Charlotte, Fla.

Nurses also plan informational pickets at four other HCA-affiliated hospitals on the same date, July 24, in the following locations: Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, Fla., Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, Corpus Christi Medical Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, and MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, Nev. Earlier this month registered nurses also held informational pickets at six HCA-affiliated hospitals in Florida.

The hospital’s turnover rates are borne out in their own data, which nurses obtained through an information request. Over 60 percent of the registered nurses have worked at FMH for less than three years and over a third, 34 percent have worked there less than 18 months.

“As an RN with over ten years tenure at my hospital, I’m able to provide seasoned patient advocacy and professional development and support to the less experienced RNs. This contributes to optimizing patient care at FMH, ” said June Phillips, RN, Spine/Ortho Unit.  “Only 16 percent of the RNs have been at FMH for over ten years like me, while over 60 percent have been here for less than three years. We want the hospital to address the nurse turnover rate by investing in the recruitment and retention of RNs.”

The hospital’s data also reveals difficulties in complying with their own staffing grids. Data supplied from Fawcett Memorial Hospital for the month of January 2018, shows that the Oncology Unit (3N) was out of compliance with the hospital’s own staffing grid 50 percent of the time, while the Medical Surgical Unit (3W) was out of compliance 42 percent of the time.

“We’re urging our hospital to invest in the nursing staff because it is vital for quality care,” said Gary Mousseau, RN, Endoscopy. “They have the resources to comply with their staffing grid, reduce the turnover rates, and provide optimal care, especially as recipients of huge tax cuts under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.”

One purpose of a hospital staffing grid is to assure that there are enough nurses to attend to patients' needs in a safe and timely way, taking under consideration the kinds of care required in each unit, including the degree of acuity or sickness. 

The 340 registered nurses at Fawcett Memorial Hospital 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.