Union nurses in Michigan host patient safety rally at Ascension hospital

Nurses at Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Borgess Medical Center rallied March 5 for patient safety.

The Michigan Nurses Association-affiliated Borgess Staff Nurse Council, which represents about 650 BMC nurses, estimated more than 150 nurses and community members participated in the rally.

In a news release, union officials said nurses specifically contend BMC's owner, St. Louis-based Ascension, plans to cut nurse staffing levels, and are urging Ascension not to go through with those plans.

"Make no mistake about it, these cuts will lead to higher patient loads for nurses that are already stretched too thin," said Jamie Brown, RN and President of the Borgess Staff Nurse Council. "When nurses have too many patients, we are unable to keep up, and patient care suffers."

Nurses also contend Ascension is eliminating units at BMC, including the specially-trained hospital team created to take care of critical patients. According to a Fox 17 News report, Ascension has said it is making "efficiency cuts."

Ascension did not verify the union's assertions to Becker's Hospital Review. However, the nonprofit Catholic system said: "We respect the right of Michigan Nurses Association to hold an informational picket on the public easement at Borgess Medical Center. As with any event of this kind, the safety and security of our associates, patients, families, visitors and picketers is our first priority."


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