Press Release

Reno nurses to hold informational picket to urge Prime Healthcare, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center to protect patients

Group of nurses inside hospital with raised fists

Registered nurses demand that Prime Healthcare invest in RN staff and safe patient care

Registered nurses will hold an informational picket on Friday, Feb. 11, to express their ongoing concerns about safe staffing, patient care, and improvements they say the hospital needs to put in place to retain experienced RNs and recruit new nurses, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU).

  • Who: Registered nurses at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
  • When: Friday, Feb. 11, 2022
  • Time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Where: Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, corner of 6th St. and N. Arlington Ave., Reno, Nevada

Saint Mary’s RNs want to alert the public about the chronic short-staffing problem at their facility, including what they say is hospital management’s consistent failure to adhere to its own staffing standards.

“Saint Mary’s has had time to prepare for a Covid surge, but here we are, continually short-staffed and jeopardizing patient care,” said Katie Dawson, RN. “In an effort to accommodate more patients, Saint Mary’s continues to make decisions that spread already thin resources, even thinner. It is these decisions that put patients’ safety at risk and call on nurses to work in unsafe conditions. Saint Mary’s must step up and put patient and nurse safety at the forefront of health care.”

The nurses have been in contract negotiations since October 2021. Nurses say that economic security and decent health care for RNs is also important to ensure the hospital retains long-term, experienced RNs and can recruit new RNs.

“Administrators at Saint Mary’s called us heroes and said that they cared for us, but their treatment of nurses did not reflect that,” said Bethany Want, RN. “These contract negotiations represent an opportunity for the hospital to demonstrate their respect for the sacrifices that we made and continue to make during this pandemic.”

“Two years into this pandemic, Saint Mary’s continues to use excuses to explain away their unsafe practices,” said Tamara Erickson, RN. “The community deserves better. When you come to a hospital run by a large, profitable health care corporation you expect top-of-the-line patient care. Instead, you will find inadequate resources, and administration will tell you that there is a nursing shortage instead of telling you the truth: that nurses refuse to work in the unsafe conditions created by the hospital and risk their nursing license. We call on Saint Mary’s to rise to the challenge and increase safety standards and protect patients and the nurses who take care of them. Saint Mary’s can do better.”

NNOC represents 576 nurses at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

National Nurses Organizing Committee is a national union and professional organization for registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, and RN organizations who want to pursue a more powerful agenda of advocacy, promoting the interests of patients, direct care nurses, and RN professional practice. NNOC is affiliated with National Nurses United.