Mass layoffs at D.C. hospital raise ire among staff

Washington (WJLA) - A crowd of nurses and their supporters attracted stares as they picketed outside Howard University Hospital on Wednesday.

The crowd was protesting the hospital's plans to cut 200 positions. Of that number, protesters say hospital administrators have plans to cut 42 jobs held by the hospital's most senior nurses. The plan is, protesters say, is to let the most experienced nurses go first.

The hospital didn't comment on allegations that senior nurses would be laid off first, but did say this in a statement to WJLA:

"Howard University remains committed to providing safe patient-centered care. The proposed changes to our workforce will not compromise quality or bedside care."

Agnes Eddington, who has been a nurse for almost 40 years, said the hospital's supposed plans are not only unfair, but unsafe for patients.

" I don't know if they're going to be able to get their needs met immediately," Eddington said.