Press Release

Ventura County nurses and health care professionals to hold vigil highlighting issues that jeopardize patient care

Group of six nurses standing side-by-side inside hospital

RNs and health care professionals demand improved conditions to retain and recruit experienced staff

Registered nurses and health care professionals who work with the County of Ventura in Ventura, Calif., will hold a vigil on Tuesday, Feb. 28, to demand county management address ongoing staffing and retention problems which have intensified over the past few months and jeopardize patient care, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.

“Nurses and health care professionals have been demanding that county administrators address staff recruitment and retention problems,” said Gina Parcon, an ICU RN at Santa Paula Hospital. “The current nursing and health care staff is stretched beyond our limits and yet is continuously being asked to do more and more with less resources and people. We know the County of Ventura has the resources to provide for safe staffing levels and provide compensation and benefits that will attract a new generation of nurses and health care worker talent for this community. Then we can provide the best and safest possible patient care.”

  • What: RNs and health care professionals hold vigil to demand improved conditions for safe patient care
  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Ventura County Medical Center, 300 Hillmont Ave., Ventura (Corner of Loma Vista and Hillmont)

Due to chronic short staffing nurses and health care professionals are not getting their meal or rest breaks. Numerous studies show that nurses and health care professionals who are fatigued are more likely to miss important cues when assessing their patients and make errors when providing care. Nurses and other health care professionals are also being assigned to units where they do not normally work, which means they are working outside of their scope of practice and expertise.

Ventura County is currently far behind community standards for pay and benefits, which makes it difficult to recruit and retain nurses and other health care professionals and is contributing to the exodus of RNs and other health care workers. They are calling on the county to address this disparity in order to recruit and retain experienced nurses and health care professionals.

Nurses and health care professionals report numerous incidences of retaliation when they speak out about patient safety issues, such as RNs or other health care professionals being asked to work outside of their scope of practice or the failure of the county to follow basic workplace violence prevention plans, leaving nurses, health care staff and patients vulnerable.

“We care for the public every day in our Ventura County facilities and that means we are also patient advocates and the first line of defense against disease,” said Shane Steelman, a technician in the inpatient psychiatric unit. “We demand Ventura County administration reach a settlement for a new union contract that improves patient care standards. With a strong contract, we can recruit and retain the dedicated and experienced nurse and health care staff needed to provide the quality care our patients need.”

The nurses and health care workers’ contract expires on March 17, 2023. Negotiations are currently underway.

Nurses and health care professionals participating in the vigil include RNs, physician assistants, LVNs, technologists, nurse practitioners, and other vital frontline public health staff across Ventura County’s many clinics, hospitals, and health service sites.

CNA represents more than 700 nurses and health care professionals with the County of Ventura.

The 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.