Okla. Nurses Association Concerned About Staff On Frontlines, Future Of Nursing

Monday, November 23rd 2020, 7:20 am
By: Ashley Holden

Leaders with the Oklahoma Nurses Association are extremely concerned about staffing numbers and the future of nursing. 

News 9 talked to one nurse who is seeing and feeling the burn out on the frontlines.  

"We have people stuck in the ER not able to get to beds and just more and more coming in sick," said Brian Jones. 

Jones works at several facilities in Oklahoma, including one of the Integris locations in the Oklahoma City metro. 

"I've seen nurses that have just totally quit or taken months off," said Jones. 

The local nurses and his coworkers help others in their fight against COVID-19 while dealing with everything outside of work as well. 

"I think there are going to be a lot of people that are really burned out that are just trying to fight through getting through this and getting out," said Jones. 

It's something even he's thinking about, which isn't good for Oklahoma.

Before the pandemic the state was already dealing with a nursing shortage. The Oklahoma Nursing Association told News 9 COVID-19 has only made things worse. 

The association along with other local organizations sent a written request to state leaders, including Governor Kevin Stitt, two weeks ago asking for specific action to help with the nursing shortage.

"There are still important steps that our leaders can take to implement these urgently needed recommendations," said ONA Board Member and Nurse Educator Megan Jester.

But the ONA said they have not received any response back. Now association leaders are even more frustrated, after the OSDH gave the green light to allow COVID-19 positive nurses to keep working and treating some patients.

"This policy truly contradicts all the other guidance that's been given to us by state and national health experts," said Jester.

The ONA said Governor Stitt did make a few changes at the beginning of the pandemic to help with nurse staffing but, again, have had no response to their recent requests. 

News 9 reached late Sunday night to both the Governor's office and the OSDH.

This story will be updates if anyone responds.