Currently, the nurse vacancy rate at A.O. Fox Hospital sits at about 50%. This morning, the facility's nurses and community advocates spoke out about the issue. Bassett Healthcare owns A.O. Fox Hospital.

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According to the New York State Nurses Association, the vacancy rate has led to nurses leaving A.O. Fox Hospital, creating poor working conditions for those left behind, the ripple effect is possibly affecting patient care with negative impacts.

This morning at the hospital, nurses spoke out, making demands for a comprehensive plan to not only attract, but to also retain nursing personnel. The nurses are looking for a fair contract that includes improving working conditions, offers fair pay, and provides for a solid recruitment strategy.


Diane Earl, RN, CEN has been a nurse at A.O. Fox for over 25 years. She had this to say:

I care deeply about our community, and it's disheartening to see the challenges we face in providing the level of care our patients deserve. We're hemorrhaging staff, and the ER is strained – patients in beds with unanswered call bells, a lack of resources, and long waits for essential services. Our community deserves better. I urge A.O. Fox to commit to dedicating the resources and staff needed to properly care for our community. We need more than band-aid solutions; we need a comprehensive, lasting plan.

Further, the association claims that A.O. Fox hospital has pushed current staffers to work long hours, and forget about paid time off. Also, in an effort to compensate for vacancies, the hospital has hired temporary travel nurses. Most come with a higher price tag, and within the medical-surgical unit and on the night shift, these nurses do not have the same training or ties to the local community.

Mackenzie Ranc, RN works within the medical-surgical inpatient unit. She added:

I'm calling on A.O. Fox to settle a fair contract to not only recruit but also retain dedicated nurses. With stressful working conditions, denied time off, and burnout, our plea for a fair contract is not just about improving working conditions for nurses but ensuring the best care possible for our patients.

More information on today's event can be found on NYSNA's Facebook page.

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