Mon., 9:25 pm: Proposed nursing staff changes expected to meet opposition

COMING TUESDAY: Plans by ValleyCare Health System of Ohio to transition from use of licensed practical nurses to registered nurses at Trumbull Memorial Hospital is expected to be met with a fight by the hospital’s organized labor.

The changes could affect 47 licensed practical nurses that work at the Warren hospital.

For now, labor leaders say the LPNs’ role should remain intact according to the existing three-year labor contract which expires Jan. 31, 2016. Anthony Caldwell, spokesman for the Service Employees International Union District 1199, said today that there has been no open dialogue about the hospital’s proposed change.

ValleyCare Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Trish Hrina released today a prepared statement confirming the hospital does plan to transition to a “nurse staffing model that uses registered nurses and nursing assistants.”

She said the model would use RNs to provide most of the patient care.

Caldwell said he is leery of such plans, saying he suspects the hospital would attempt to simply eliminate the LPN positions and transfer the work to RNs without adding necessary manpower or additional compensation to the RNs.

Read more from both sides of the issue in the Tuesday Tribune Chronicle Business section.