Letter to the Editor 12/14/2018

In response to Hopkins Hospital continues to undervalue the lives of its patients published on Dec. 26:

Dear Editors,

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter recently published a story and editorial that overlooked a number of important facts regarding nursing and patient care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Safe, high-quality patient care is our first priority. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, a nonprofit hospital providing care for a large number of underserved residents, consistently earns recognition as one of the nation’s best hospitals for patient safety and care.

As your readers may be aware, National Nurses United has been trying to unionize nurses at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The story reports the results of a union survey based on responses from just 5 percent of the 3,200 nurses who work at the hospital. The survey does not accurately represent the voice of nurses, nor does your story mention the many nurses who oppose unionization.

Please allow me to set the record straight on several other issues.

While the union has filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, we believe the charges lack merit. Contrary to what the story reports, the NLRB process is ongoing and final determinations have not yet been made.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital is well-staffed to provide high-quality care. Our nurse turnover rates are well below the national average, and nurse vacancy rates are consistent with the national average. We offer nurses important scheduling flexibility and the option to work three 12-hour shifts each week – a schedule that many nurses want and prefer.

Our model is recognized across the country and around the world for a culture of clinical collaboration, open communication and shared governance. This approach helped The Johns Hopkins Hospital earn Magnet recognition for nursing excellence – the highest national distinction for professional nursing practice, awarded to only 8 percent of hospitals in the U.S. We were the first hospital in Maryland to earn the designation, in 2003, and among less than 1 percent of hospitals in the U.S. to receive Magnet designation four consecutive times.

Our nurses and hospital are among the best in the world. Together we make extraordinary contributions to the communities we serve. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved and am grateful for the skills and commitment of all our nurses.

Signed,
Deborah Baker
Senior Vice President for Nursing, Johns Hopkins Health System
Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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