March 2, 2004
San Diego Tenet RNs Vote Overwhelmingly for CNA, Alvarado Vote Continues Nurses Assn. Growth in San Diego
Alvarado Hospital Medical Center Registered Nurses voted by 68% Monday night to affiliate with the California Nurses Association, becoming the 7th Tenet Healthcare RNs in the past four weeks to join the state's largest RN organization and continuing a recent groundswell of CNA growth in San Diego County.
"This is a great day for nursing," said Hannah Riley, Medical-Surgical RN. "Alvarado Hospital RNs have united together to have a voice for positive change in our community. This will affect the future of healthcare in our community for the better."
The Alvarado election, which affects some 300 RNs, comes on the heels of a vote by RNs at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas to join CNA and the achievement of a landmark first contract for CNA-represented RNs at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and Pomerado Hospital in Poway. CNA also represents RNs at the University of California San Diego medical facilities and at San Diego Blood Bank.
"CNA is increasingly being known as the voice of San Diego RNs," said CNA organizing director David Johnson. "Growing numbers of RNs in San Diego County have seen the results of CNA representation and are seeking to join our efforts to enhance professional standards for RNs and patient care protections for their community."
Madeline Cohen, RN who works in the Same Day Surgery Unit at Alvarado expressed the enthusiasm of other nurses. "The overwhelming CNA victory opens the door for Alvarado nurses to actively participate in decisions affecting our profession. For the first time our voices will be listened to instead of merely being heard."
The Alvarado election extends the wave of votes by Tenet RNs following a CNA-Tenet agreement in December providing for fair, expedited elections and new mechanisms to provide an effective voice for RNs in the delivery of patient care. Since early February, 1,150 RNs at seven Tenet hospitals have voted for CNA, with nurses at 13 other Tenet hospitals set to vote by the end of April. CNA now represents the RNs at 11 Tenet facilities, and, overall, 55,000 RNs across California.
"This is such a wonderful victory for the nurses at Alvarado hospital," said Sue Gorney, Intensive Care Unit RN. "We have worked so hard to improve the wages and benefits for our nurses, but even more importantly, we now have a voice in decisions that affect patient care in our own profession. We look forward to working with management in reaffirming patient care as our primary focus."