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Nurses Have Something to Cheer About

Negotiating team member, Fran Goldberg, RN, at picket line at Medical Center of Trinity

­­­­­­­­By Terri Lynn, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Managing Editor, Sept. 23, 2015 – 
Registered nurses voted overwhelmingly to ratify new collective bargaining agreements covering nearly 8,000 RNs at 17 HCA-affiliated hospitals in five states, National Nurses United announced today. HCA is the largest for-profit hospital chain in the United States.

The pacts affect RNs at ten HCA-affiliated hospitals in Florida, four in Texas, and one each in Missouri, Kansas, and Nevada.

A spokesperson for National Nurses United told SouthFloridaReporter.com that their members are very satisfied with their new agreement. Hospitals will now be required to comply with their own staffing policies which translated means more nurses per patient.

The new agreement, also, makes provisions to give nurses breaks and meals.

RNs from Northside Hospital and St. Pete General Hospital (both in St Petersburg) celebrate successful ratification of the contracts. From Left to right, Negotiating team members: Rosel Stuart, RN, Sandra Rivera, RN, Renee Dicostanzo, RN and Roselily Story, RN
RNs from Northside Hospital and St. Pete General Hospital (both in St Petersburg) celebrate successful ratification of the contracts. From Left to right, Negotiating team members: Rosel Stuart, RN, Sandra Rivera, RN, Renee Dicostanzo, RN and Roselily Story, RN

Other highlights include:
•    Eight hours of rest for any RN after working a call shift before she can be called back to work to reduce nurse fatigue that can put nurses and patients at risk.

•    Improved health and safety language to strengthen protection for nurses and patients from workplace violence, the spread of infectious diseases, as well as patient handling procedures to reduce the risk of nurse injuries and patient falls and accidents.

All the nurses covered by the agreements will be honored for their service with significant economic improvements that include increases that vary by location, of up to 15 percent over the life of the agreement, with additional increases at some facilities based on years of experience as an RN.

In the Southern States, where the wages are well below the national average for RN wages, the increases will bring wages closer to the national average, promoting retention of experienced nurses, and assisting with recruitment of new nurses for the hospitals.

Nurses working at the following hospitals, all affiliated with Nashville-based HCA, are covered by the new contracts:

Florida:
Oak Hill Hospital, Brooksville
Osceola Medical Center in Kissimmee,
Medical Center of Trinity in Trinity
Central Florida Research Hospital, Sanford
Largo Medical Center, Largo
St. Petersburg General Hospital, St. Petersburg
Northside Hospital, St. Petersburg
Blake Medical Center, Bradenton
Fawcett Memorial Hospital, Port Charlotte
Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Sarasota

Kansas: Menorah Medical Center, Overland Park, Kan.

Missouri: Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo.

Texas:
Corpus Christi Medical Center, Corpus Christi
Las Palmas Medical Center, El Paso
Del Sol Medical Center, El Paso
Valley Regional Medical Center, Brownsville

Nevada: Mountain View Hospital, Las Vegas

“The nurses are thrilled that our collective effort, spanning five states, yielded contracts that support quality patient care. As patient advocates we are very pleased with the results,” said Brandie Stewart, RN, Emergency Department at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida.

“We’ve won provisions that will improve recruitment and retention and that really supports our patients receiving the best possible care so we are very happy with the outcome,” said Marissa Lee, Labor and Delivery Unit, Osceola Regional MC, Kissimmee, Florida.

Terri Lynn has earned a reputation as a dynamo in the fast-past world of high profile public relations. Her blue chip press contacts, dazzling creativity and unstoppable determination, combined with superb writing skills, consistently produces extensive media coverage for her clients. She’s regarded as tenacious, persuasive and always gets the job done!

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