Providence Medford picketed by 200 nurses and supporters

More than 200 nurses and community members came together April 10 to call on administrators at Providence Medford Medical Center to improve patient care and address the hospital’s chronic recruitment and retention problems.

“Nurses are patients’ most important advocates. It’s our professional responsibility to speak up to ensure every patient receives outstanding health care,” said Christalyn Matlock, a local Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) leader and nurse at Providence Medford Medical Center. “In order to continue providing the health care our patients deserve, Providence needs to raise staffing standards and increase local nurse recruitment and retention.”

Forty-three percent of new nurses at Providence Medford Medical Center leave after less than a year on the job. The hospital’s extreme turnover rate forces local nurses to shoulder an increasingly unhealthy workload and can jeopardize patients’ care.

Nurses and supporters held an informational picket outside Providence Medford Medical Center Tuesday, April 10 from 7 – 9 a.m. and 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

“Seeing teachers, health care advocates and community leaders standing side-by-side with nurses speaks volumes about our community’s priorities,” said Dan Richmond, a local ONA leader and nurse at Providence Medford Medical Center. “Rogue Valley residents value the high-quality health care local nurses provide. It’s time for Providence to prove they’re committed to our community and its long-term health care.”

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) projects Oregon will have a shortage of 6,000 registered nurses by 2025 and areas like the Rogue Valley may be hit particularly hard.

Local nurses are asking Providence’s administrators to work with them now to help prevent a nurse shortage by agreeing to a new contract to improve patient care, reduce staff turnover, increase nurse recruitment and provide appropriate backup for nurses and staff during 12-hour shifts.

More than 600 concerned community members have signed a petition asking Providence administrators to work with nurses to reach a fair agreement that ensures local patients continue to receive safe, high-quality health care.

Learn more about Medford nurses’ work to reach a fair contract agreement here.

The nearly 300 registered nurses at Providence Medford Medical Center are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest nursing organization. It is a professional association and labor union which represents nearly 15,000 nurses across the state. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit

An informational picket is a peaceful public demonstration which allows nurses and community members to discuss important local health care issues. It is not a strike or work stoppage. During Tuesday’s informational picket, nurses worked their regularly scheduled shifts and continued providing the high-quality health care the Medford community deserves.