Hospitals have been plagued for decades by a nurse shortage, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused many qualified nurses to leave the profession.
“COVID-19 exacerbated the problem,” said Lynnette Vehrs, WSNA president. “Nurses left the profession. They said, ‘this is not what I signed up for,’” explained Vehrs.“They were sometimes not treated correctly or just completely overwhelmed. You feel like you’re in a war zone, quite frankly. If you don’t have the right equipment, you don’t have enough staff members around you. Yeah, it is quite overwhelming.”