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Registered Nurses want you to know...

Kaiser Permanente is making drastic changes that threaten to reduce your timely access to patient services and the quality of care you and your family receive. 

While claiming to provide better care, Kaiser has cut 1,300 Registered Nurse positions in Northern California in the past four years. 

Kaiser is operating many hospitals with inadequate nurse staffing and steadily removing RNs from clinics and telephone advice calls. Home health visits are also being cut. 

At the same time, Kaiser has made more than $2.2 billion in profit while restricting tests, treatments, hospital stays, referrals to specialists and reducing prevention programs and planning to close neighborhood hospitals. 

Please read this Guide carefully so that you can be fully informed about Your care at Kaiser. 

A Guide To Your Rights

Because Kaiser Registered Nurses care about you! We are your advocates for safe, therapeutic, effective and compassionate care. We are professionals accountable to the public we serve. 

Registered Nurses are Patient Advocates

California law mandates RNs to represent and protect patients from unsafe or poor care in hospitals, clinics and your home. 

Only RNs are legally authorized and qualified to evaluate your total response to treatment, carry out your physician’s orders, monitor you for complications and teach you about your care. 

Many of these treatments are sophisticated and complex, requiring formally educated RNs with scientific knowledge and technical skills who can exercise independent professional judgment on your behalf. 

Nursing is not just a task. It is a highly-skilled process that includes:

  • Knowing the care needed for a wide range of physical conditions, diagnoses and procedures. 
  • Knowing how to recognize when a change in your condition occurs. 
  • Initiating a plan to make sure your health and recovery is  protected.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the care you receive.
  •  Another Nurse

  • Nursing Care is Endangered at Kaiser

    Kaiser has replaced RNs and other licensed employees with lesser qualified or unlicensed staff who do not have the specialized training, education and experience necessary to assure safe and appropriate care. 

    RNs Make a Difference

    Studies show that where there are sufficient numbers of RNs providing direct care, patients have a better chance for safe care, faster recovery, fewer complications and lower readmission rates. 

    Only RNs are legally qualified to evaluate your total response to treatment, carry out your physician’s orders, monitor you for complications and teach you about your care. 

    Nurse Practitioners Make A Difference

    Nurse Practitioners offer expertise in a variety of health care services with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention including: general health, assessments, physical exams, counseling, education, maternal/child health, care of acute and chronic illness and diseases. 

    When do I need a Registered Nurse?

  • When you call for medical advice, you should have immediate contact with a Registered Nurse or a physician. 
  • When you are receiving your care in a clinic, especially when you are undergoing procedures which require sedation. 
  • When you are in the Emergency Room, only a physician or an RN can legally and safely decide how severe your condition is and how soon you must be treated. 
  • When you have surgery, your surgeon should be assisted by other physicians and/or RNs with surgical training. 
  • When you are a new mother, you should receive complete instructions in baby and self care from an RN before you leave the hospital.
  • A Nurse

    Kaiser Member Survival Guide

    Patient Survival Tips


    1. Kaiser is in business to make profits. Their incentive is to avoid referrals. Your primary care physician may not be the specialist you need. Insist on a referral if you believe you may need one. 

    2. Be knowledgeable about your condition. Get the facts on how to obtain the best possible care. Ask your primary care physician or RN what is the standard treatment for your condition. Insist on a second opinion if you believe you may need one. 

    3. Children need the expertise of a primary care pediatrician or a referral to other pediatric specialists, particularly when surgery and/or anesthesia are involved. Ask your child's doctor whether he or she has the expertise to diagnose and/or treat your child's ailment. 

    4. Your primary care physician may recommend that a major surgery such as a mastectomy be done on an outpatient basis. Insist on being admitted to the hospital, with sufficient recovery time before being discharged. 

    5. Do not assume that your loved one is safe after surgery. Remain a while in the room and watch him or her breathe. Ask the surgeon about the procedure, the findings, the outcome and what to expect. Keep a treatment diary. 

    6. If you enter an emergency room more than once in the same week for the same ailment you may need to be admitted. Ask for a second opinion. Demand an explanation if you are not admitted. 

    7. Know the qualifications of your care givers. Contrary to state regulations, some name badges may not identify the vocational classification of the person caring for you. Ask the facility administrator for an explanation if you are unable to identify the qualifications of your care givers. 

    When do I need a Registered Nurse?

    If You Are An Outpatient, Insist that an RN . . . 

  • take your initial medical history. 
  • listen to your medical concerns. 
  • be with you during your examination or procedure and when you receive medications that make you drowsy or slow your breathing. 
  • be available to review your medications or after-treatment plan prescribed by your physician. 
  • be available to speak to you if you have a question about instructions, medications or follow-up appointments once you get home. 
  • be available to speak to you if you do not feel well after a procedure or need advice. 


    If You Are Hospitalized, Insist that an RN . . .

  • be able to safely provide your care without being responsible for too many other patients. 
  • evaluate your condition during each shift. 
  • be assigned to you while you’re in the hospital. 
  • explain your medications, how they interact and if they have side effects. 
  • regularly review your plan of care with you and your family. 
  • assist you when you feel you’re not ready to go home.