Members of the New York State Nurses Association have announced April 2 as the strike date. The strike notice affects nurses at Mount Sinai, Montefiore and New York Presbyterian hospital systems. Contract talks are already underway.
Inflexible Staffing Ratios
The New York City Hospital Alliance released a statement saying that union leadership made the move to call on their nurses to walk away from the patients to advance their political agenda of setting rigid staffing ratios. Hospitals further argue that staffing ratios would compromise patient care levels and result in added costs. That could mean letting go of a number of staff members from other care teams.
97% of nurses across the three hospital systems agreed on the strike in a bid to improve patient care quality. Nurses from all three organizations are asking for changes to improve patient safety and care. Over 20,000 nurses last year signed reports documenting 3,800 “Protests of Assignment.”
For nurses, the strike is a response to an already long-standing issue: there simply aren’t enough nurses to get the job done and done right. Many of the reports provide details about dismal hospital conditions inside the facilities, highlighting the fact that there are not enough nurses. Patients end up on the losing end, not able to receive the care they need and deserve. More reports also detail disturbing conditions, such as patients left in hallways for days, because there isn’t enough space and staff to deal with the situation. Emergency rooms in the country suffer from the same problem, with admissions mounting with no imminent increase in staffing in sight. With not enough registered nurses to admit and discharge patients, waiting times in emergency rooms reach an average of 6 hours and 24 minutes.
Recruitment firms will need to step up and provide help. To answer the demand, many travel nursing companies around the country are taking steps to ensure they are able to supply candidates and meet quick turnaround for filling positions. Travel nursing companies like Concentric Healthcare Staffing are already bracing for the shortage and are ready to provide staffing solutions where needed.