A spot check on staffing conducted earlier this month by SEIU Local 1991 members showed improvements in some areas, but persistent challenges in others.
This was the second spot check conducted by the union to gauge compliance with the new staffing ratios article in the contract.
Holtz Hospital made the most progress, meeting ratios 95% of the time and having the charge nurse free of assignment 99% of the time.
At Jackson North, after opening the sixth floor, staffing issues in the two telemetry units pulled down the numbers for the hospital as a whole. Management is challenged with hiring staff for the third and sixth floors and is also creating a float pool.
At Jackson South, staffing struggled to keep up with increased patient volumes, especially in the ICU and worked to handle daily issues.
The Quality Nursing and Career Development Committee (QNCD) met on March 15 to review the data. This was an opportunity for frontline RNs and management to discuss the challenges and suggest solutions related to staffing.
Management and union members talked creatively about several strategies to improve retention and recruitment, as we all agree the solution is to hire and retain qualified nurses.
Local 1991 President Marker Baker, RN, urged management to increase efforts to utilize our own nurses to market the many unique benefits of Jackson. Other committee members spoke about the need for more unit-based nurse educators to help train all the new hires. Several other strategies discussed related to per diem employees, sign-on bonuses and more.
Find more details of the QNCD meeting here.