Saint Vincent Hospital Moving Forward with Hiring of Permanent Replacement Nurses

May 12, 2021

Hospital remains focused on operations and quality of care

Worcester, MA – Saint Vincent Hospital remains committed to preserving access to high-quality care for the community. Given the ongoing strike by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), the hospital is hiring permanent replacement nurses to provide consistent support and relief to nurses who have returned to work as well as temporary replacement nurses.

Saint Vincent Hospital nursing care has been provided by 140 of its nurses who returned to work as well as a significant number of well-trained, temporary replacement nurses. Last week, the MNA made their intentions to continue the strike known by adding a number of non-negotiable items to its already unreasonable staffing proposal. This made it clear that the hospital needs to consider a more long-term approach for their nursing care team.

The hospital is planning to fill approximately 50 nursing positions with its first job posting. These include all day shift positions scheduled for 32 hours or more per week in critical care and all but one inpatient med-surg unit. This will enable enhanced continuity of care and help reduce the cost of the temporary replacement nurses. For the time being, the remaining nursing roles will continue to be provided by Saint Vincent nurses or temporary replacement nurses.

Saint Vincent Hospital CEO Carolyn Jackson said that this step ensures the hospital can continue to provide excellent care while being a good steward of its resources, especially given the competitive market for nurses.

“We had hoped we would not need to take this action. However, without a signal that the MNA is willing to compromise and reach resolution, we do not have a choice. We respect that our nurses have a right to strike, but we have a responsibility to our community. Bringing in permanent replacement nurses will help ensure continuity of care as the strike continues,” Jackson said.

Once a striking nurse’s position is permanently filled, that nurse will not have the right to return to work immediately when the strike ends. Instead, in accordance with federal law, they will be placed on a “preferential hire list,” and will be eligible to return as vacancies arise.

The positions are posted and can be applied for by visiting the Careers section.

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