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SAN DIEGO – Hundreds of Sharp HealthCare nurses protested downtown Thursday morning after recent contract negotiations failed.

Protests were held in front of the Convention Center, where executives were scheduled to hold a two-day event. The event, however, was canceled.

Protesters say they are concerned experienced nurses are leaving Sharp for better pay, and new hires are inexperienced, compromising patient care.

“What we’d really like to see is better safety conditions for our patients. We want to make sure that our wages are competitive so we can retain the nurses that we train and we can attract experienced nurses so we can keep them. Right now we are working short and our nurses are leaving in droves for better pay,” an 11-year nursing veteran said.

Sharp HealthCare officials scheduled a news conference at 10 a.m. to outline the company’s wage proposal, how they think it measures up against the San Diego market and details about nurse turnover and patient care.

Check back for more information on this developing story.