Press Release

Torrance nurses to demand safe patient care at informational picket

Four nurses standing outside hospital holding signs "Staff Up for Safe Patient Care"

RNs at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance to protest management’s refusal to address staffing crisis

Registered nurses at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance in Torrance, Calif., will hold an informational picket on Thursday, June 20, to protest the administration’s refusal to address issues of patient safety and unsafe staffing, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.

Nurses say management refuses to staff floors appropriately, which results in delays in patient care. Due to the poor working conditions, nurses are leaving the hospital, creating high staff turnover. Over the past year, many departments have had very high RN turnover rates, including labor and delivery (29 percent), the operating room (35 percent), and the ER (42 percent). The average turnover rate for the entire hospital has been about 18 percent. Studies show that high turnover is more likely to have understaffed shifts; understaffed shifts more likely to have any of the adverse outcomes associated with understaffing. 

Currently, RNs throughout the hospital are being forced to choose between giving up their breaks for meals and rest or jeopardizing patient care during their 12-hour shift. If a nurse goes on break, other RNs in the unit would have to care for that nurse’s patients, increasing their patient load, which is not safe for patients or nurses.

“We are facing unsafe staffing every day, which is putting patients at risk,” said Karen Navarro, RN in the labor and delivery department. “This is unacceptable, and this is why we are speaking out. Nurses are leaving the hospital due to unsafe staffing and the lack of support from management. Our labor and delivery department has more temporary staff than permanent staff RNs due to poor retention and recruitment rates.”

Who: Registered nurses at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance
What: Informational picket and rally to demand safe patient care
When: Thursday, June 20 | Nurses will be picketing from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. A rally with remarks from RNs will be at 12:00 p.m.
Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance, 4101 Torrance Blvd, Torrance Calif. | Nurses will be gathering on the public sidewalk outside the main entrance

“We called the picket because we are tired of seeing the constant revolving door of staff due to poor working conditions,” said Monica Sarhangian, RN in the emergency department. “RNs do not want to work overtime because then we are unable to provide the kind of optimal care that we know our patients deserve. This creates a vicious cycle that needs to stop. The hospital needs to do more for our staff and our patients.”

RNs have been in contract negotiations since April 2024 for a new contract with little to no movement on issues that address retention and break relief coverage. The nurses’ contract expired on June 4.After the employer failed to complete a full day of bargaining on June 5, the bargaining team issued a 10-day notice to hold an informational picket. The RNs are demanding that their employer invest in nurses and do more to retain staff RNs.

Providence, a 51-hospital system based in Renton, Wash., reported rising inpatient admissions and a shorter length of stay helped lift Providence’s reported operating revenue in the first quarter of 2024 by 14 percent to $7.8 billion. Providence is also under investigation by the Oregan attorney general for demanding payment from patients who met the requirements for charity care. 

California Nurses Association represents more than 800 RNs at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance.

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.