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Nurses in Tucson picket for more staff and better patient care

Posted at 12:27 AM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 01:12:59-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Registered nurses at St. Joseph's and St. Mary's hospitals held informational pickets on Tuesday to urge management to invest in nursing staff.

It was organized by the union, "National Nurses United," with pickets happening at 10 other hospitals in California, Florida and Texas.

According to a release, the pickets are expected to improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care, say nurses.

“The nurses at St. Mary’s are committed to providing our patients with the best care possible,” said Christine Valenzuela, an RN in the medical ICU at St. Mary’s Hospital. “When staffing is in alignment with what research shows is optimal for patient care, nurses are a better able to fulfill this commitment.”

KGUN9 reached out to the Carondelet Health Network which released the following statement:

"The National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), the labor union that represents our nursing staff, is holding an informational leafletting/picketing event Tuesday outside St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s hospitals. The hospitals are fully operational and our staff’s focus, as always, is on providing exceptional quality patient care. We are disappointed that the union is taking this approach as it is not constructive or necessary. We have made good progress toward a new contract with the union and will continue to negotiate in good faith in hopes of reaching a successful resolution, without the need to disrupt our patients or staff in their mission."