Press Release

University of California nurses to hold rally for patient safety

Large group of nurses in hospital hallway, two hold signs "Patients First"

UC RNs to protest in front of the California Department of Public Health

University of California (UC) registered nurses from across the state will hold a rally on March 19, to highlight their ongoing patient safety concerns, including overcrowding in UC emergency departments, patient privacy violations, and the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) failure to respond appropriately to these concerns with thorough and transparent investigations and reporting, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.

Nurses have been sounding the alarm over the ongoing patient safety concerns inside UC medical centers since 2020. RNs have filed dozens of complaints with CDPH, citing safety issues due to overcrowding in the emergency departments, including patients being placed in gurneys in hallways for multiple days. Also, two patients are being placed in rooms designed for only one patient. Nurses say these situations are untenable and not only eliminate patient privacy but create issues in patient care and nurse safety. 

Nurses say CDPH is responsible for investigating complaints and it has a responsibility to report back to those who called for the investigation, not just managers. Nurses demand that CDPH investigate all complaints, ensure information posted to the department’s website is accurate and updated, and hold UC accountable to the conditions set forth by CDPH.

"As nurses, we witness firsthand the consequences of delayed action by the California Department of Public Health in addressing patient safety concerns,” said Nikki Cuadra, RN in the acute care pediatrics unit at UCLA Medical Center. “It’s time for CDPH to step up, prioritize timely processing of complaints, and enforce regulatory measures without delay. Our patients' well-being depends on it."    

  • Who:  RNs at the University of California
  • What: Rally for Patient Safety, Transparency and Accountability
  • When: Tuesday, March 19, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: In front of the California Department of Public Health office, 1616 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814

“Pediatric nurses at UC Davis have been in a critical staffing crisis for the past year,” said Jodi Thelen, RN in the pediatric float pool at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. “We have repeatedly flagged our patient care concerns with the California Department of Public Health only to be met with delays and denials. Even when our claims are acknowledged, CDPH has consistently failed to connect with bedside nurses, choosing instead to take the word of our supervisors. CDPH must side with patients over the interests of our profit-driven hospital management.”  

CNA/NNOC/NNU represents nearly 20,000 registered nurses at the University of California, who work at medical centers connected to UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Merced, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley.


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.