The Oregon Nurses Association issued a response on Thursday to Gov. Kate Brown's mandate that all healthcare workers must get a COVD vaccine.

The ONA devoted much of the response to addressing what they say are ongoing and persistent staffing issues, as well as underinvestment in the profession by healthcare providers and caregivers.

They called on hospitals and healthcare providers to focus on investment, training and retention of nurses going forward, to help alleviate the shortages felt in Oregon (and elsewhere).

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However, they made it clear they were not happy with Brown's mandate:

"We know Oregon’s registered nurses and nurse practitioners have already achieved a high rate of vaccination. We also know that some health care workers are deeply opposed to vaccine mandates; so deeply that some will leave the profession before accepting a mandate."

They went on to say:

"Governor Brown’s previous rule that required weekly testing with a waiver for health care workers who show proof of vaccination was a reasonable compromise that encouraged vaccination while protecting public health. Today’s decision to mandate vaccinations for health care workers may ultimately exacerbate an already dangerous staffing crisis in hospitals across the state."

Not just in Oregon or Washington, but nationally, over the last five years especially, the nation has seen a steady decline in the number of nurses who are trained and obtain work. Many of them are needed to replace those who retire or leave the profession. Shortages are nothing new.

But it appears the ONA, much like in Washington state, is prepared to push back on this. in WA state the SEIU has said they are going to work to find alternatives to provide public safety and encourage officials to lift this medical mandate.

To read the full ONA statement, click on the button below.

 

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