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Southern Oregon Nurses To Rally For Better Pay, Reliable Schedules


Low pay, unpredictable schedules and staff shortages has nurses at a Southern Oregon hospital edging closer to a strike. 

Nurses at Providence Medford Medical Center voted Wednesday to hold an informational picket, a peaceful rally that they hope will garner community support. They’re seeking contracts similar to those of nurses in Portland, which offer better pay and reliable schedules to prevent burnout.


Dan Richmond is a nurse leading the negotiations. 

"Nurses need to have consistent, predictable schedules," Richmond  said. "And when you don’t have consistent, predictable schedules, it's difficult to have quality work-life balance. You know, one major contributor to the nursing shortage is the high rates of burnout and stress.” 

The Medford hospital has a high turnover rate. About 43 percent of its nurses leave within their first year.


Rural areas in Southern and Eastern Oregon are facing a nurse shortage. Like Providence Medford, those hospitals struggle to compete with cities that offer higher wages and more resources. 

April Ehrlich is JPR content partner at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Prior to joining OPB, she was a regional reporter at Jefferson Public Radio where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award.