Seaside Nurses Vote Unanimously to Approve Contract with Providence

Agreement creates cross-training task force to improve local care, reduce patient diversions

(SEASIDE, Ore.) – Nurses at Providence Seaside Hospital voted unanimously to approve a new 2-year contract with the hospital which could reduce expensive ambulance trips for patients and puts more experienced nurses in charge of patients’ care, the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) announced today.

ONA represents 83 registered nurses at Providence Seaside Hospital and more than 14,000 nurses throughout the state.

“Nurses’ top priority is making sure our patients get the care they need quickly and compassionately,” said Mary Romanaggi, RN, chair of ONA’s bargaining unit at Providence Seaside. “This agreement gives us more flexibility to adjust to patients’ needs while we continue providing the outstanding care nurses are known for.”

The new contract will help more patients receive local treatment by creating a cross-training task force which will establish guidelines to allow nurses to move between multiple departments. After passing specialized training determined by the task force, nurses will be able to move from one hospital department to another to respond to unexpected events like early labor or serious accidents. Currently, Providence Seaside Hospital transports some patients to Portland-area facilities when the hospital does not have enough staff in a department to accept or treat new patients.  

“We want to be able to care for our patients locally whenever we can,” said Romanaggi. “While we can’t always predict when a birth or serious injury will occur, we can start planning now to make sure more nurses have the skills and support they need to treat patients close to home.”

Nurses also successfully advocated to improve experience requirements for charge nurses. Charge nurses at Providence coordinate multiple nurses’ work in addition to providing direct patient care. Under the new agreement, nurses must have at least one year of experience working at the hospital or serving as a charge nurse at another facility before being asked to work as a charge nurse at Providence Seaside Hospital. This new standard will help ensure patient care is consistently managed by nurses with appropriate experience and expertise.

Highlights of the agreement:

  • Creates a cross-training task force to increase patients’ access to local services
  • Raises standards for charge nurses to ensure more experienced nurses oversee patients’ care
  • Promotes best practices by encouraging advanced nurse education and training
  • Preserves critical health care benefits for nurses and their families
  • Recognizes nurses’ service with cost-of-living adjustments to help recruit and retain skilled health care providers

The new contract runs through Nov. 30, 2018.

ONA was founded in 1904 as the professional association for nurses in Oregon. It is Oregon’s largest nursing professional association and union. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit www.OregonRN.org

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