June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Nurses Rally Against New Float Pool Nurses Scheduling Rules at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Hospital

Protest Highlights Potential Impact on Patient Safety and Nurse Retention

Registered nurses from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) held a rally on May 29 to protest significant scheduling changes for float pool nurses as part of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) Union. These changes, proposed by management, could lead to mass resignations, negatively affect patient safety, and create unsafe staffing levels across UCLA Health.

Float pool nurses at UCLA are crucial, covering multiple units within their specialties to address staffing shortfalls. For several years, these nurses have enjoyed flexible scheduling, allowing them to arrange four shifts at any time during a month. However, starting May 25, UCLA management plans to require float pool nurses to work at least one shift per week.

Previously, the promise of flexible scheduling attracted nurses with families, elderly care responsibilities, second jobs, and higher education goals. This flexibility significantly increased the number of available nurses at UCLA. The new scheduling requirements could force up to 200 nurses to resign, according to CNA/NNU.

A 2023 article by UCLA management praised the float pool program’s success, highlighting that flexible scheduling during recruitment led to a 45 percent reduction in dependence on contract labor, such as travel nurses.

“Because we have this successful float pool program, we rely less on travelers and have a stable group of nurses who know our facility, know our patients, and are part of the UCLA community,” said Kimberly Anderson, a UCLA float pool nurse representative. “This lets us give our patients the best care.”

On May 14, during a staff meeting, management informed float pool nurses that they were considered expendable and that if 20 percent quit, replacements would be hired.

“You cannot easily replace nurses with so many years of experience and who are so skilled at caring for our patients,” said Jannel Gooden, RN, and a UCLA float pool nurse representative.

“These changes to our scheduling flexibility present a clear threat to nurses and their patients, who will bear the burdens of management’s arbitrary, poorly conceived ‘solutions’ to a problem of their own making,” added Neil Rudis, RN, a UCLA float pool nurse representative.

CNA/NNU represents nearly 22,000 registered nurses across the University of California system, including UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Merced, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley.

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