Nurses picket at HCA hospitals in Las Vegas, Corpus Christi

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Registered nurses at hospitals affiliated with Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare picketed July 24, citing high turnover and understaffing, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KZTV.

Picketing took place at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas and Corpus Christi (Texas) Medical Center. RNs also planned pickets July 24 at three other HCA-affiliated hospitals: Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, Fla.; Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford; and Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee's Nevada chapter, which represents 765 MountainView Hospital RNs, said nurses want hospital management to help reduce high RN turnover rates by complying with staffing guidelines. It cited hospital-provided numbers showing that as of June, 30 percent of RNs have worked at MountainView for less than 18 months, and 47 percent have worked there less than three years.

Hospital spokesperson Jennifer McDonnell told the Review-Journal none of the hospital's accrediting agencies have complained about staffing shortages and the hospital's turnover rate had declined to 13 percent. According to the 2018 National Health Care Retention and RN Staffing Report, published by NSI Nursing Solutions, the national average turnover rate for bedside RNs was 16.8 percent in 2017.

The nurses union in Texas  which represents 645 RNs at Corpus Christi Medical Center, made similar arguments to its Las Vegas counterpart regarding staffing.

Corpus Christi Medical Center told KZTV: "We want to ensure our community understands that neither this nor any other action will ever come between us and our commitment to the high-quality care and services we offer our patients."

MountainView has been negotiating with unionized nurses since April; Corpus Christi Medical Center's contract with unionized nurses expired June 30.


More articles on human capital and risk:

Rhode Island hospital workers begin 3-day strike
Illinois hospital workers lobby for $15 minimum wage, union rights
Hospitals and unions: 9 conflicts, agreements

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