Skip to main content

Hospital staffing shortages draws hundreds to California rally

Photo credit: UNAC/UHCP.
Hospital staffing shortages draws hundreds to California rally
By UNAC/UHCP and AFSCME International Staff ·
Tags: Priorities

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – More than 400 health care union members went to the California state Capitol during National Nurses Week this month to appeal to the state’s elected leaders to fix the nursing education backlog and hospital staffing issues that affect patient care.

Members of United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP), led by President Charmaine S. Morales, RN, and Executive Vice President Peter Sidhu, RN, attended the May 7 rally. Also taking part were a host of elected officials and other labor leaders, including Craig Ford, president of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees/AFSCME.

Rally participants pressed lawmakers to make health care education and training programs more accessible so students remain in their California communities for their health care careers. They also appealed to lawmakers to empower health care professionals to enforce safe staffing standards in the state’s hospitals.

The rally highlighted the urgent need to invest in nurse education and support for all health care professionals who struggle with too many patients and insufficient staff to provide the safest care.

 “Getting my nursing degree at my local community college was the path that allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse without going into debt,” Morales said. “We cannot ignore the impact of the education backlog on hospital staffing and patient outcomes.”

Morales added that nurses and care providers feel their staffing complaints have fallen on deaf ears: “We need to improve how our state agencies handle short staffing. We cannot fix this crisis alone.”

Union members visited their elected officials and urged them to prioritize the next generation of caregivers by supporting legislation to expand advanced degree programs to community colleges and increase clinical placement opportunities for nursing students. The supply of nurses heavily relies on the state's higher education system, particularly California community college nursing programs, which train and supply a sizable proportion of the state’s nurses.

UNAC/UHCP members are asking elected officials to support measures that would:

Related Posts