SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. -- Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester recently sent a letter to the Biden Administration to call attention and aid to the national shortage of nurses working in the healthcare system.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, during which nurses worked tirelessly to help sick patients, many nurses stepped down from their positions and many of those considering becoming nurses changed their minds. Rosemary Wurster, Chief Nurse Executive at Bayhealth has witnessed it firsthand.
"Nurses are the backbone of our infrastructure," says Wurster. "They are the individuals who care for us when we are ill. So we do feel some of the shortage. Recruitment has been challenging. Retention has been challenging. I have seen people leaving the profession which indeed breaks my heart because I love to be a nurse."
In the letter, Blunt Rochester is asking for more funding to go towards the nursing workforce in President Biden's 2024 Fiscal Year Budget. In addition to the nursing workforce, Blunt Rochester emphasizes the need for investment in nursing education.
Loretta Ostroski, MSN, RN, Vice President, Inpatient Nursing and Emergency Services at Beebe Healthcare for more than 30 year, says the call to action is overdue. However, during her time at Beebe, she has seen how the healthcare system can retain nurses and work through crisis.
"We know our nurses want good communication," says Ostroski. "They want to be supported on all shifts at the bedside. They want to work at the top of their license, and they want to have a voice. Those are the things that our leadership team here is focusing on."
Both Ostroski and Wurster hope Blunt Rochester's call to action will spur a positive change in the field of nursing in Delaware and across the nation.