Press Release

Saint John’s Nurses Launch Website to Support Campaign for RN Patient Advocacy Rights

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2010

Nurses call on hospital administration to respect Catholic Social Teaching and enter into agreement for fair organizing process

Registered Nurses at Saint John’s Health Center today launched a website,, detailing their campaign to organize with the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United for collective patient-advocacy rights.

The site calls on Saint John’s to cease its harassment and intimidation against RNs and negotiate a mutually respectful local agreement for a fair organizing process, as recommended in the recent U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops’ report Respecting the Just Rights of Workers.

Features on the site include:

  • A discussion of Catholic Social Teaching’s recommendations for a fair organizing process in Catholic hospitals.
  • A description of the hospital administration’s campaign of harassment and intimidation against the RNs.
  • Links to documents related to the effort, including news stories, the USCCB’s Respecting the Just Rights of Workers, and the Patient Care Issues Report compiled by Saint John’s RNs, detailing patient care concerns created by the hospital administration’s policies.  
  • Pages devoted to the Santa Monica community’s widespread support of the organizing drive and neighbors’ concerns about Saint John’s Development Agreement.

Nurses plan to expand the website with updates, a section for reader comments, and streaming video.

“We’ve launched the website to provide additional information to the community about Saint John’s record of disrespecting labor law, Catholic Social Teaching, the community, and its caregivers, making it harder for us to deliver quality patient care,” said Saint John’s RN Donna Schonlaw.

“As a Saint John’s nurse for 21 years, I’ve seen our hospital change from a caring, community hospital to ‘the new Saint John’s’ with a focus on the bottom line. The current administration has gone a step further in targeting RNs who try to advocate for our patients. We intend to change that for the benefit of our patients, our community, and ourselves,” she said.