MedStar WHC nurses approve new contract to improve safety, staff retention

Nurses at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. have voted in favor of a new, three-year contract which includes an increase in wages, staffing, as well as moves to improve safety and training.

The contract includes an agreement by management to hire at least 450 nurses a year, totaling 1,350 by 2025, according to a news release by the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United, which represents more than 1,800 nurses at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Wage increases in the new contract range from 15% to 33% of current salaries. According to the release, nurses at the hospital voted “overwhelmingly in favor” of the contract.

“We are proud to have a strong contract that will help recruit and retain nurses,” said Mentwab “Mimi” Dinka, a registered nurse in the hospital’s float pool and a member of the bargaining team.

“With MedStar management’s commitment to hire 450 nurses each year, we will have optimal staffing so we can provide our patients and community with the care they deserve.”

The new contract takes effect on March 12, and runs through March 2026.

Among patient safety and security measures in the contract are improvements to workplace violence language and an increase in security at the hospital’s emergency department.

Training new staff and compensation for instructors were also featured in the agreement.

“We have been fighting to ensure that nurse preceptors are compensated for mentoring and training new nurses,” said Stephanie Sims, a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and a member of the bargaining team.

“For the first time in our contract, our preceptors will be paid for their valuable role in training the next generation of nurses.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up