(UnitedVoice.com) – During the national health emergency, medical facilities nationwide required their staff to get inoculated against the new virus. President Joe Biden’s administration required healthcare workers to get the vaccine if they were employed by a hospital or other facility that accepted Medicaid or Medicare payments. The Supreme Court upheld the mandate. Hospitals are now struggling to find nurses, and some of the workers who were fired are being asked to come back.
The Maine Wire, an independent conservative media organization, recently published an exclusive report about hospitals begging fired nurses to return to work. According to the report, MaineGeneral Health Recruitment sent text messages to workers it terminated for refusing the vaccine.
Former Registered Nurse (RN) Terry Poland told the outlet that she received a text imploring her to come back to work. The message claimed the healthcare facility was forced to comply with the state’s vaccine mandate and it “lost a number of great employees” because of it. However, on August 3, 2023, the state reversed the mandate, which, in turn, led to MaineGeneral doing away with its vaccination requirements.
“You were once a proud member of the MaineGeneral team. Would you consider rejoining us? We would be pleased to discuss options with you,” the text stated.
Poland said she was in disbelief when she received the message. She worked as a nurse for 33 years when she was fired. She said she was “livid” when she read the text, saying the hospital fired her from the career that she had dedicated her entire life to, and now they think she’s going to go back to them. Poland claimed that almost everyone else she spoke to felt the same way.
In 2022, a report indicated the RN workforce fell by approximately 100,000 by the end of 2021. That was the most significant drop in 40 years. McKinsey & Company conducted a survey and found that 31% of nurses intend to leave their current jobs within the next year. Not all intend to leave the profession completely, but RNs are experiencing a high turnover rate.
When Biden passed the vaccine mandate, the American Hospital Association raised concerns about a shortage happening as a result. The American Nursing Association reported there has been a strain on the industry since before the health crisis because retirements have outpaced new nurses for years, there’s inadequate support for RNs in the workplace, and there’s an increased demand for healthcare professionals. It appears the mandates have contributed to the crisis.
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