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Tucson Nurses Go On Strike To Improve Staff Investment

Nurses as Tucson’s St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s hospitals began a 24-hour strike Friday morning.

According to the National Nurses Organizing Committee, this marks the first time registered nurses have ever taken such action in Arizona. The action comes as nurses at affiliated hospitals in Florida and California also walk out. More than 800 nurses were expected to participate in Tucson.

They are urging management to invest more in staff and improve recruitment and retention, arguing that there is a direct correlation between staffing levels and better results for the people in nurses’ care.

Dominique Hamilton has been a registered nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in the orthopedic and neurology unit for three years and said she has seen inadequate staffing affect patient outcomes in her time in the field. She joined The Show to talk about the effort.

The Show also reached out to Tenet HealthCare, with which the participating hospitals are affiliated. In an emailed statement, officials said they value the company’s nursing staff and "will continue to negotiate in hopes of reaching a successful resolution."

The company also assured patients they will be cared for by qualified nurses and caregivers through any strike.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.