Nebraska Is Recruiting Unvaccinated Nurses to Fill Staff Shortage

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U.S.|Nebraska is recruiting unvaccinated nurses to plug a staffing shortage.

Medical professionals sanitizing astatine  a coronavirus investigating  tract  successful  Omaha, Neb., past  year.
Credit...Calla Kessler for The New York Times
  • Aug. 26, 2021, 7:19 a.m. ET

Health officials successful Nebraska are truthful hopeless for unit that they are recruiting unvaccinated nurses, an unconventional effort to plug the shortage of nurses arsenic the authorities battles a surge successful coronavirus cases.

The advertisements for unvaccinated nurses are popping up connected postcards, connected Facebook and connected authorities occupation postings: “$5,000 sign-on bonus!” and “No mandated Covid-19 vaccinations,” the notices say. The ads are for positions successful veterans’ homes, psychiatric attraction facilities and different locations.

State Senator Carol Blood archetypal heard astir the advertisements connected Monday, she said, erstwhile she was inundated with messages from constituents criticizing the outreach.

“Our wellness attraction professionals were calling my bureau successful tears,” she said. “It’s a slap successful the look to them.”

New cases successful Nebraska person jumped, with hospitalizations rising to the highest level since January, according to a New York Times database. Nebraska’s nurses, similar wellness attraction workers crossed the country, are a twelvemonth and a fractional into a relentless conflict to attraction for Covid patients. The latest and astir terrible cases, crossed the country, are among those who person yet to beryllium vaccinated.

As the highly contagious Delta variant pummels the United States, nurses are reporting that they consciousness depleted and traumatized, their ranks thinned by aboriginal retirements oregon vocation shifts that traded the exigency country for little stressful jobs.

Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, a Republican, directed the authorities authorities to enlistee unvaccinated nurses, said Taylor Gage, a spokesperson for the governor.

“The authorities responded with this run truthful nurses passim Nebraska cognize that authorities authorities is an alternate vocation choice,” Mr. Gage said successful a statement.

The determination came aft 8 authorities hospitals mandated vaccines for their employees, KETV reported.

Ms. Blood, a Democrat, wrote a missive to the politician connected Monday criticizing the recruitment scheme, saying the state’s determination was “of sedate interest to myself and countless radical successful my district.”

“I bash recognize that we person a superior shortage of staff,” she wrote. “With that said, putting those who unrecorded successful these facilities astatine hazard due to the fact that we request to find bodies to prosecute is not acceptable.”

Ms. Blood said connected Wednesday nighttime that she had not received a reply from the governor’s office.

The surge is being driven by the highly contagious Delta variant and debased vaccination rates, wellness experts said. The authorities successful Nebraska are struggling to vaccinate its citizens, with lone 57 percent of radical astatine slightest partially vaccinated. The nationalist complaint is 61 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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