Albany Med Nurses Hold Speak-Out on Safe Staffing as DOH Investigates Complaints

The Albany Medical Center (AMC) nurses who care for the capital region are sounding the alarm on the hospital’s staffing crisis. On June 11, NYSNA nurses joined forces with local labor leaders and elected officials to speakout on the unsafe staffing levels at AMC that put patient care at risk. The speak-out comes on the heels of the New York State Department of Health (DOH) launching an investigation into nurse staffing levels at AMC after receiving dozens of complaints from nurses tasked with more patients than they could safely care for.

At the speak-out, nurses described the impact that persistent understaffing has had on patient care and nurse retention at the facility, and they shared stories from their own experiences with understaffing.

Albany Medical Center NICU nurse and NYSNA member Jennifer Kiehle, RN said, “When nurses raise concerns about unsafe staffing by filling out protests of assignment, they're berated by our managers and told their professional judgement is wrong. It’s hard to see young nurses come to work in our NICU and get burnt out and leave so quickly because of unsafe staffing. Albany Medical Center management hasn’toffered any solutions to unsafe staffing, they just don’twant to be bothered with it.”

This was the latest in a series of actions taken to address understaffing at AMC.The speak-out garnered wide media coverage, including NBC Channel 13, ABC News 10, CBS 6, and the Times Union. 

AMC NYSNA nurses are bargaining for a fair contract before their current contract expires on July 31 and have made safe staffing a top priority. They are asking hospital administrators to follow the staffing law and invest in improving care by recruiting and retaining more nurses for safe, quality care.