Grays Harbor Community Hospital, citing its ongoing financial difficulties, has eliminated its remaining staff of licensed practical nurses.
The elimination means that seven full or part-time employees and two per-diem employees were terminated. The positions will not be filled, according to Director of Public Relations David Quigg. The hospital has been moving toward the “national trend” of certified nurses aids and registered nurses in place of the LPNs. It has not replaced any LPNs who have retired or moved to other positions in the past three years, and will not do so with those recently eliminated.
“These LPNs were excellent employees and many had been with our organization for a very long time,” Quigg said.
The hospital’s Human Resources and Nursing Administration departments will work with the employees on transfers or severance packages, according to a letter sent to employees earlier this month.
The transition is due to the “limitations of LPN licensure and to improve operational efficiencies,” he said.
“It was a very difficult decision to make, but if our community votes to allow a second public hospital district, we would probably not see layoffs like we have seen over the past two years,” he said.
The hospital is currently collecting signatures to secure a place on the ballot for the formation of the county’s second public hospital district. It will need 1,600 signatures from voters in the proposed district — which Quigg said is “tentatively voting precincts west of the current Grays Harbor Hospital District 1.” The hospital has until April 9 to collect the signatures.
Sam Luvisi: 360-537-3935 or firstname.lastname@example.org and @Dw_Sluvisi on Twitter