Almost a year into the coronavirus disease pandemic, America’s nurses — who for almost 20 years have been voted the country’s most trusted professionals — are running on empty.
They’ve reused PPE, canceled PTO and worked extended shifts for employers they don’t always feel value their safety.
The stress and lack of support has driven many nurses to quit their jobs. And during the worst health crisis the US has seen in more than a century, the health care system can’t afford to lose them.
Quitting their hospital jobs wasn’t a decision any of them made lightly — they’ve been nurses their entire adult lives.
They’re still overcome with guilt about leaving their jobs during the pandemic — even if they knew their decision was the right one.
Jean Ross, president of the National Nurses United, one of the country’s largest nurses’ unions, said, “Covid has exacerbated all the problems that we know exist in a for-profit health care system.”