A Thank-You Letter to our Nurses
Updated: Feb 24
What happens to the healthcare system when vaccine mandates meet a vaccine-hesitant labor market?
Here at RedBalloon, we have nurses on the brain...
We are hearing from nurses all over the country who have been faithfully serving their communities for years, and are now shocked and hurt to find that they have quickly gone from being heroes to being guilted, discriminated against, and even fired. Why? You can probably guess.
Why are we suddenly losing so many nurses?
Newsweek recently highlighted a survey by the American Nurses Association and the American Nurses Foundation which reported that a quarter of the surveyed nurses “didn't trust the vaccines or were unsure about the safety and effectiveness of the shots.”
Let’s think about that for a second. These people are the hands-on experts when it comes to dealing with COVID-19. They’ve seen it all - hospital overruns, young people kept alive by ventilators, loved ones saying their goodbyes through glass barriers. They know a thing or two about this virus, and yet, they refuse the vaccine. Why shouldn’t we validate their concerns, or at the very least, allow them to make their own decisions based on their medical expertise?
All this comes amid a “crisis-level” staffing shortage among the nursing community, according to the American Nurses Association. In fact, the AMA even urged the current Administration to acknowledge and address the problem. Apparently, the Administration has obliged.
Biden to save the day! Wait...what?
So what happens to the healthcare system when vaccine mandates meet a vaccine-hesitant labor market? Apparently, mandates drastically reduce the already-stretched nursing labor force. A survey of one Cincinnati hospital showed that about 30% of their nurses would rather quit than take the vaccine. That’s a lot of nurses. And that’s just one of many hospitals across the nation poised to lose a significant portion of their nursing talent - especially now that heavy-handed government mandates have exacerbated the problem.
The Free Market Response: Run The Numbers!
I know this sounds very concerning, but I also prefer to look for encouragement in the midst of these challenges. Here in my hometown, one of our healthcare clinics saw that 28% of their nursing staff would rather quit than take the vaccine. Instead of losing these critical members of their team, the clinic was quick to grant exemptions.
Before Biden’s mandate, a Bloomberg Businessweek article highlighted a network of over 20 hospitals and medical centers that had decided NOT to mandate the vaccine. Why? Well, like a good business, they ran some numbers. Their data model showed that the impact of nurses quitting to avoid the mandate would be more destructive than the labor lost because of quarantines or sick leave.
And now, 27 states and the RNC have pledged to fight these unconstitutional mandates in court. This is incredibly encouraging to those who have legitimate concerns about the vaccine! The legality of the President’s mandate will ultimately be determined in court, which will likely favor the rights of individuals.
Hope for Our Nurses
Even with the executive order in the mix, be encouraged that many healthcare organizations are using common sense as they approach the challenging decisions ahead of us. If you are a nurse, or in healthcare, I want to remind you that there are people who are deeply grateful to you who want to see you pursue your calling while recognizing your freedom to make your own personal medical choices. Take Care & Rehab for example - a free speech employer currently hiring - nurses!
If you are a nurse, check them out. And if you are a healthcare organization that believes in the freedom of your healthcare professionals, please post jobs. Thousands of the best kinds of workers are searching for you right now. Join us as we continue to treat America’s nurses as the heroes they are!