Nurses Urge Six HCA-Affiliated Hospitals in Florida to Ensure Optimal Patient Care
“We’re urging our hospital to invest in the nursing staff because it is vital for quality care. As recipients of huge tax cuts under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, they have the resources to invest for the benefit of our patients. ”
Registered nurses at HCA-affiliated hospitals in St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Brooksville will hold informational pickets on Thursday, July 12, urging that hospital management 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.
The pickets will take place Thursday July 12, 6 a.m.-8 a.m. at the following hospitals:
- St. Petersburg General Hospital, 6500 38th Ave, N.
- Northside Hospital, 6000 49th St. N.
- Oak Hill Hospital 11375 Cortez Blvd.
Registered nurses will also hold pickets at HCA-affiliated hospitals in the following locations on the same date, July 12, 6 – 8 a.m.: Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, and Doctor’s Hospital of Sarasota, in Sarasota.
“We are asking the hospital to comply with its own staffing grid, because this is essential to our ability to provide timely, quality patient care,” said Roselily Story, an RN at St. Petersburg General Hospital for 17 years. “We are also asking the hospital to address the hospital’s nurse turnover rate by investing in the recruitment and retention of RNs. According to the hospital’s own data, only 11 percent of the RNs have been at SPGH for over ten years like me, while 52 percent have been employed here less than three years.”
“Nurses at Northside Hospital are committed to giving the best possible care to our patients. High turnover is a significant challenge to our having optimal staffing to take care of patients,” said Rosel Stuart, RN, Neurological ICU, Northside Hospital. “Nearly half of our RN staff, 48 percent, have been employed here for less than 18 months. We want management to invest in retention so we can keep RNs at the bedside.”
The hospitals’ turnover rates are borne out in their own data, which nurses obtained through an information request. For example, while 48 percent of the RNs at Northside Hospital have worked at the hospital for less than 18 months, 71 percent have worked there for less than three years. At Oakhill Hospital, over half of the RNs, 53 percent, have worked there for less than three years.
“We’re urging our hospital to invest in the nursing staff because it is vital for quality care,” said Kim Scott, RN, ICU Oak Hill Hospital. As recipients of huge tax cuts under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, they have the resources to invest for the benefit of our patients. ”
The hospitals’ data also reveals difficulties in complying with their own staffing grids. Data supplied from NorthsideHospital for the month of January 2018, shows that the CVPCU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit) was out of compliance with the hospital’s own staffing grid 53 percent of the time. During the same time frame, SPGH’s data showed their ICU out of compliance 85 percent of the time, and their Medical Surgical Unit 1, out of compliance 61 percent of the time.
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 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.