Florida HCA hospital nurses to protest after CEO declines meeting

Registered nurses at HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital in Port Charlotte plan to protest later this month over what they say is hospital management's refusal to address concerns about staffing and patient care at the facility, according to a July 21 union news release

The workers, who are represented by the National Nurses Organizing Committee, are scheduled to hold the action outside the hospital's main entrance July 25. 

Union representatives contend that the hospital's CEO, Michael Ehrat, refused to meet with Fawcett nurses July 13 when they delivered a letter to him about their staffing concerns.

The union said its members are concerned because the hospital is not providing adequate staffing to safely care for patients, causing nurses to leave their jobs. It reports that about 100 nurses have left Fawcett and about 30 have left their bedside nursing positions since January. 

The hospital disputes the union's claims.

"Contrary to the National Nurses United press release, which erroneously states a loss of nurses since January 2022, our records indicate to the contrary. In fact, HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital has experienced a net gain in nurses since January 2022," Fawcett said in a statement shared with Becker's

The union is demanding HCA invest in hiring and retention of nurses. 

"We are facing unsafe staffing every day, which is putting patients at risk," Colette Salomon-Belfond, RN, said in the union release. "We want to give our patients the best care possible, but we can't do that when we are forced to care for too many patients. This is unacceptable, and this is why we are speaking out."

In its statement, Fawcett said: "We value the opportunity to engage our nurses." 

Fawcett is part of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare. National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United, represents more than 280 nurses at the hospital.

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