Registered nurses at Hahnemann University Hospital staged an informational picket line Wednesday at the Center City hospital in response to a management plan to replace some RNs with unlicensed assistants on some units.

The event, with 175 nurses planning to demonstrate, was scheduled to occur from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Broad and Vine Streets, according to the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Professionals, which represents more than 800 staff at Hahnemann.

Hahnemann administrators told union representatives that the workload for nurses on six patient units will increase from four to five patients. "Nurses have grave concerns that such workloads will put patients at unnecessary risk of harm," the union said.

Hahnemann said its "first and foremost priority is the health and safety of all our patients who come to us for care. Hahnemann has appropriate nurse-staffing levels that ensure our patients receive high-quality, person-centered treatment."

Tenet Healthcare Corp., which owns Hahnemann and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, has been trying to sell the two hospitals as part of a plan to get out of markets where it does not have a leading market share.