NW Kaiser nurses consider leaving field amid staffing issues, burnout


Nearly half of Kaiser Northwest Registered Nurses have reported they are considering leaving the field entirely because of the treatment they received at Kaiser.

The Kaiser Permanente Registered Nurses, who are represented by the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), filled out a survey over the past week to answer questions about their response to the pandemic.

The report revealed 42.2% of them are considering leaving the field, while more than 60% report they are considering leaving Kaiser Permanente as a company, and nearly 60% say they are considering leaving their department.

“These survey results show that the way that Kaiser is treating their healthcare professionals is leading to burnout and exacerbating the staffing crisis,” OFNHP President and Kaiser Permanente RN Jodi Barschow said.

“Right now our patients are facing a critical staffing shortage, and Kaiser’s low wage proposals will only make this crisis more severe.”

Kaiser Permanente put forward an economic proposal on Aug. 25 to the Alliance of Healthcare Unions, a coalition of 20 union locals that represent 52,000 Kaiser workers across eight states, including Oregon.

They offered a 1% across-the-board raise and a 1% lump sum raise for each of the three years of the contract, with even lower offers in Hawaii and Georgia.

The last negotiation session between OFNHP and Kaiser Permanente was on Sept. 10, with no agreement reached.

OFNHP says the wage cuts could lead to a nationwide strike of Kaiser employees.

“Right now Kaiser and other healthcare providers are critically understaffed, both in Portland and across the country,” they said in a statement.

“The primary issue being reported by Kaiser staff is a lack of “safe staffing,” which our members report leads to long wait times for patients and can affect patient care.

“This offer is far below what the Kaiser employees, in Oregon and nationally, would be willing to accept.”

Members will be rallying at 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the Kaiser Permanente Building (500 NE Multnomah St, Portland) with the support of community and political leaders.


Top Local Stories