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Nurses planning rally at Providence hospital

April 11, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Hundreds of nurses and other workers plan to picket outside Women & Infants Hospital in Providence to call for increased staffing and an end to a months-long hiring freeze.

Officials with District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union say the picketing is planned for 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Union leaders are urging hospital officials to hire local nurses for permanent jobs instead of temporary "traveler" nurses. They say out-of-state nurses unfamiliar with the hospital's operations would endanger its high patient satisfaction and quality ratings.

Hospital officials say Women & Infants has experienced a decrease in births and patient volume, and they're working with the union on staffing issues. Officials also say the use of outside agency nurses to supplement staffing is commonplace nationwide.

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