UCI Medical Center has fired 13 nurses in the last three months and is investigating a union activist who sought information about one of the dismissals, according to the nurses' union.
Eight of the nurses have more than 20 years of experience each, and four of those have spent their two decades at UCI, union officials said. Hospital officials would not comment on why the nurses were let go.
Susan Mancia, a hospital spokeswoman, said UCI was ranked among the top five hospitals in Southern California in a survey for Nurses magazine, in which nurses graded the quality of care, organizational culture, development, communications and retention efforts.
The hospital, which is in Orange, also has received a designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which demonstrates a hospital's ability to attract and retain highly trained nurses.
UCI has had a series of scandals in its medical programs, ranging from doctors in its fertility clinic stealing eggs and embryos from patients, bodies missing from the medical school's cadaver program and failings in the hospital's bone marrow, liver and kidney transplant programs.
Most recently, 22 medical center employees were disciplined for having falsified certificates showing that they had passed cardiopulmonary resuscitation training.
The most recent dismissal was of a nurse who worked in the newborn nursery for 27 years, said Beth Kean, the California Nurse Assn. director for University of California hospitals.