Nurses at Hahnemann University Hospital voted 516 to 117 Wednesday night to form a union.

Eighty-two percent of the nurses at Hahnemann University Hospital voted to join PASNAP, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. The National Labor Relations Board convened the election Tuesday and Wednesday, and votes were tallied into Wednesday night.

The new local union at will represent more than 850 nurses.

“We wanted to get back to the foundations of nursing,” said Mike Winn, an RN in the hospital’s emergency department.

“It should be about patients, not profits or shareholders. We were tired of having management’s decisions limit our ability to give the best care.”

Some of the major complaints that spurred the vote to unionize were of poor working conditions, subpar equipment, confusing scheduling and inadequate staffing.

Now the nurses plan to prepare to bargain for a fair contract.

“We know that this election is just a first step,” said Winn. 

“But we’ve already come very far and we’re ready for the next step.”

Hahnemann responded to the vote with the following statement.

“Hahnemann respects the decision of our nurses to be represented by PASNAP. We look forward to working with PASNAP to reach a mutually beneficial collective bargaining agreement,” said Michael P. Halter, CEO of Hahnemann University Hospital.

“Our focus will continue to be, as it always has been, to provide those who come to us for care with excellent, high-quality treatment thanks to the help of our skilled nursing staff.”