Nurses who recently threatened to strike at Sharp HealthCare hospitals have ratified a new three-year contract with the San Diego-based company.

The agreement announced Dec. 8 ends a five-month negotiating period that was going badly – the union representing nearly 5,000 Sharp nurses authorized a strike to begin Nov. 28 – until a last-minute breakthrough.

Sharp said its deal with Sharp Professional Nurses Network will be effective until Sept. 30, 2019. The union is an affiliate of the United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals.

"At this time, everyone at Sharp is excited to focus our full attention on continuing our health care transformation journey," Sharp Executive Vice President Dan Gross said in a written statement.

"Union negotiations are often challenging and Sharp is gratified to have successfully reached a new agreement that meets the needs of both our nurses and the health care system," he added.

Sharp has four acute-care and three specialty hospitals, as well as a health plan, two affiliated medical groups and outpatient facilities.