Nurses unite for candlelight vigil in Bangor

BANGOR, Maine. (WABI) - The want for safe staffing at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, that's why Registered Nurses with EMMC said they held a candlelight vigil at Bangor’s Cascade Park.

More than 100 nurses united for the event which is sponsored by the Maine State Nurses Association or MSNA. Organizers said the MSNA represents more 850 nurses.

We're told the union is currently under an annual three-year contract negotiation with EMMC, which the hospital said brings up topics for discussion such as wages, employment, benefits, and staffing.

Karen Greenlaw, Maine State Nurses Association said, "On the floor that I work on, we have a lot of inexperienced nurses and if I’m busy taking care of patients, I cannot mentor the nurses who need help. I cannot deal with crises as they occur and can't coordinate the care on the entire floor."

Ali Worster, Vice President of Human Resources said, "EMMC is a remarkable place to receive care and a lot of that is due to our nurses. They're amazing, everything they do-what they are out there talking about today is something we all hold very dear patient safety is what we are here for. We come at it at different perspectives and we work through those and we get through those and we get to a point where we are all batting for the same team and we are here to take care of our patients."

After the vigil, nurses walked to EMMC and lined up in front of the building in solidarity. We're told the hospital and the union are still in negotiations which the hospital said are "respectful and productive."