Press Release

Tucson nurses rally for safe patient care at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, protest staffing crisis

Large group of nurses outside hospital holding signs calling for safe staffing

Hospital administration is violating their staffing guidelines, forcing nurses to care for too many patients, jeopardizing patient care

Registered nurses at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Ariz., will hold a rally on Monday, July 1, to highlight troubling patient safety concerns and chronic short staffing that jeopardizes patient care, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) today.  

Over the past several weeks, nurses say patient care conditions have deteriorated due to the hospital administration’s ongoing mismanagement of RN staffing. Instead of staffing units with the appropriate number of nurses to care for patients, management is violating their staffing guidelines in nearly every unit, sending RNs home to save money and forcing the remaining nurses to do more with less. RNs in the surgical unit have been caring for 75 percent more patients than normal, and telemetry nurses have been caring for 50 percent more patients than they normally do.

Who: RNs at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital
What: Rally for patient safety with media availability
When: Monday, July 1, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.
Where: Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, 1601 W. St. Marys Rd., Tucson, on public sidewalk on the corner of W. St. Marys Road and N. Silverbell Road

Nurses have filed dozens of assignment despite objection forms (ADOs) documenting unsafe staffing. As a result of unsafe working conditions, nurses are leaving. The turnover rate for nurses at St. Mary’s now exceeds 50 percent. 

“When patients suffer from unnecessarily poor outcomes, we nurses must stand up for our patients and speak out against the hospital’s profits-over-patients approach,” said Liliana Jordan, an RN in the telemetry unit. “At St. Mary’s, nurses have been leaving in droves due to the poor working conditions, and those who remain are constantly working under impossible conditions. Health care should be about health, not money.”

Nurses are deeply concerned about delays in medications, such as potassium replacement and cardiac drips, both of which create a high risk for deadly arrhythmias. In addition, nurses are unable to turn patients in a timely manner, making it impossible to prevent pressure sores. 

St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s RNs support the Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act (S. 1113 and H.R. 2530), a federal, enforceable RN-to-patient ratios law to ensure patient safety. 

NNOC/NNU represents approximately 700 registered nurses at Carondelet hospitals in Tucson, Ariz.

National Nurses Organizing Committee is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide. NNU affiliates also include California Nurses Association, DC Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and New York State Nurses Association.