About 300 registered nurses at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego approved a new contract with Prime Healthcare that could bring some of them raises as big as 25 percent, the California Nurses Association announced Friday.

Union officials hope the raises will stem what they contend was a flood of nurses leaving the hospital, located just east of San Diego State University, for UCSD Medical Center and other area health facilities.

In January, union officials contended that Alvarado suffered a 41 percent turnover rate in nurses last year.

“In the (emergency room) we know the first step in a trauma is to stabilize the patient and stop the bleeding, and that’s an excellent metaphor for what we’ve accomplished here,” said Jess Farnsworth, an ER nurse at Alvarado Hospital. “I’m inspired by the way nurses came together, both long- term nurses and brand new graduates, to advocate for a contract that rewards those who’ve stayed while laying the foundation for a new generation to serve this community.”

The contracts include language on preventing workplace violence, measures to reduce patient and worker exposure to infectious diseases like Ebola, and procedures to reduce unsafe patient handling — primarily in the lifting of patients, which can cause workplace injuries and patient falls and accidents.

The agreements also cover other hospitals operated by Prime Healthcare — Centinela Hospital in Inglewood and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, the association said.

–City News Service