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More than 600 nurses in Wichita could form a union

St Francis Hospital
Hugo Phan
St. Francis is an Ascension Via Christi hospital in downtown Wichita. More than 600 nurses at the hospital could soon have a union, depending on the results of an upcoming union vote.

Nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis hospital have filed for a union election.

Nurses at St. Francis hospital in Wichita have filed for a union election.

If successful in their union drive, about 625 nurses will form a new bargaining unit with the National Nurses United (NNU).

The NNU is the largest nurses union in the country, with more than 175,000 members. Overall, about 20% of registered nurses in the U.S. are union members.

The Kansas State Nurses Association says there are more than 50,000 registered nurses in the state.

St. Francis is one of the biggest hospitals in the state and is a part of the Ascension Via Christi network.

“We have received notice of the petition and are still evaluating our response to this action,” said Kevin Strecker, CEO of Ascension Via Christi, in an emailed statement to KMUW.

Daniel Caudill is a general assignment reporter for KMUW. He was a reporter, photographer and digital content manager for The Derby Informer and an editor and reporter for The Sunflower. In the spring of 2020, Daniel helped cover the legislative session in Topeka as an intern for the Kansas News Service. You can follow him on Twitter @CaudillKMUW.