FL hospital hires more nurses amid complaints about staff shortages

Nursing simulation, University of Florida nursing program. Credit: UF.

As registered nurses at Fawcett Memorial Hospital protested Thursday against severe staffing shortages during the pandemic, a hospital spokesperson said more nurses will be hired to “provide relief for our hardworking caregivers.”

Alexandria Benjamin of Fawcett Memorial in Port Charlotte said Friday in an email to the Phoenix that the hospital “has been focused on keeping our caregivers, our patients and our community safe.”

“We are excited to have a number of nurses joining our team over the next several weeks,” she said.

“Our leaders are working around the clock to ensure we have the resources here, including additional nurses, to support the outstanding work our nurses are doing to care for our community.

Fawcett has proactively stopped most inpatient and outpatient elective surgeries in order to reserve resources and make room for additional COVID patients, should that become necessary.”

As previously reported by the Florida Phoenix, the National Nurses United stated in a press release that some registered nurses at the facility have left their positions because of the issues at the hospital.

“Because of the administration’s inaction and dismissal of the warnings by its front-line caregivers, we are losing experienced RNs. That is a tragedy for our patients and our community,” Cynthia Butler, a registered nurse at Fawcett Memorial, said in a written statement on Thursday.

Meanwhile, nurses around the nation have been fighting the coronavirus on the front lines, resulting in more than 160 deaths among RNs who have succumbed to the illness, according to NNU.

The union is posting the names of fallen nurses who battled COVID-19 and are honoring those nurses on the organization’s website.

Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.