BROOKSVILLE, Fla.-- Dozens of nurses protested outside of Oak Hill Hospital Thursday morning hoping to see better staffing and pay as their contracts are negotiated.

  • Nurses protesting outside Oak Hill Hospital
  • Want better pay and staffing
  • Their contracts are currently being negotiated

"If there's not enough nurses on the floor the nurses have delayed time getting things like medications, when they put their call bell on you want to respond quickly," Jack Hood said.

These nurses say the issue right now is keeping other nurses at Oak Hill, they say many are lured by better wages and benefits elsewhere.

"We have 53 percent of our nurses have been here less than three years well only 14 percent of us have been here more than 10, I’m one of those nurses," Dee Ann Marsh said.

"We need to have competitive wages not just for our brand new nurses coming in although that will help but for our long term nurses our mentors the ones that teach these brand new nurses," she added.

Representatives with Oak Hill hospital stress they are proud of the work their nurses have done. They tell us their retention rate right now is 84 percent. They say they have 470 seventy full-time and part-time nurses which they say is up 10 percent from last year. They also say they have one of the lowest turnover rates in the region at 8.4 percent.

But these nurses say more needs to be done, stressing it's all for the good of the patients.

"That's what it's all about. Nursing is dedication that you put your life and you want to one take care of patients. You cannot do this job 12 hours everyday if you don't want to take care of patients. You want to have benefits you want to make a living you want to have benefits but your primary goal is to take care of the patient," Hood explained.