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Registered nurses rally against short staffing and patient safety concerns at Jackson Park Hospital

Photo caption: Jackson Park Hospital (credit: National Nurses United)

Registered nurses at Jackson Park Hospital (JPH) in Chicago will hold an informational picket on Tuesday, July 25 to speak out about their patient safety concerns and chronic short staffing of nurses and ancillary staff, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) today. JPH union nurses say constant short staffing by management contributes to a high turnover rate, making it difficult to recruit and retain experienced nurses who could ensure the highest quality of care at the hospital. JPH nurses also say management is attempting to break the union by refusing to hire union nurses.

Units are now staffed with more temporary contract nurses than JPH union staff nurses. Some units are staffed with only contract RNs for some shifts. JPH nurses are caring for more than twice the number of recommended patients, which could result in delayed care, missed care, and increased risk of avoidable complications, falls, and injuries. Union nurses have filed dozens of assignment despite objection (ADO) forms documenting unsafe staffing.

“The folks in the community who I serve deserve quality care from safely staffed units,” said Jennifer Harris Goldsmith, a registered nurse and a member of the bargaining team. “It is deeply disturbing that management has shown itself unwilling to adopt staffing standards that save lives and improve community health outcomes. Nurses at this hospital serve some of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities on the South Side of Chicago who deserve access to quality care from nurses.”

Who: Jackson Park Hospital registered nurses

What: RNs to hold informational picket and rally with speakers

Where: Jackson Park Hospital, 7531 S. Stony Island, Chicago in front of hospital

When: Tuesday, July 25, 12:00 p.m.

On-the-ground contact: Kindra Perkins, 312-783-1669

JPH nurses have been in negotiations for more than a month for a new contract with little to no movement on key issues. The nurses’ contract expired on June 30. The RNs urge management to invest in nursing staff and agree to a contract that provides safe staffing and workplace violence protections, which were promised in 2020. JPH nurses also demand that management hire local nurses for open union positions.

“There is no shortage of nurses,” said Essie Coleman, an RN in JPH’s behavioral health unit and a member of the bargaining team. “The South Shore, Jackson Park, and many other communities across the South Side of Chicago are home to many registered nurses. We are asking Jackson Park Hospital to make a commitment to the community in which it serves, to provide access to quality union positions. Nurses from the community know our patients and provide continuity of care. Temporary contract nurses leave and are only a short-term solution.”

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing shows that there are more than a million registered nurses with active licenses who are choosing not to work at the bedside. More information and data debunking the nurse “shortage” myth can be found here. 
National Nurses Organizing Committee is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide. NNU affiliates also include California Nurses Association, DC Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and New York State Nurses Association.

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