ONA To Meet With State Leaders About Nursing Shortage

Wednesday, December 2nd 2020, 6:14 am
By: Ashley Holden

The Oklahoma Nurses Association will meet with state health leaders to address the nursing shortage Wednesday.

This meeting comes about three weeks after the association, and other nursing groups, sent a letter to state leaders. On the receiving end, the Governor and the state health commissioner. 

The letter detailed some short and long term action that the ONA and the other authors felt would help with the nursing shortage. Some of those suggestions include funding a marketing campaign to attract nurses who may have inactive licenses, competitive pay within the region and a mask mandate in counties with a certain rate of COVID-19 spread.

Before the association got any type of response, the State Health Department gave the green light for asymptomatic COVID-19 nurses to continue working. A move the ONA called "reckless".

Association leaders are hoping to make progress and figure out a way to help with the nursing shortage that's only gotten worse.

"We know that COVID has really exacerbated that issue as we have seen an increase in the number of patients being admitted to hospitals and seeking care," said Nurse Educator and ONA Board Member Megan Jester.

The ONA said they aren't sure who will be a part of Wednesday's meeting, but State Department of Health leaders and members of the Governor's office do know about it.

ONA leaders said they are looking forward to dialogue and hoping for a positive outcome.

"There are still important steps that our leaders can take to implement these urgently needed recommendations," said Jester.