Alabama nursing group asking for recruitment and retention funds

Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 10:08 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama State Nurses Association sent a letter Thursday to the Joint Committee on American Rescue Plan Act Funds to invest more money into recruiting and retaining nurses in the state.

“We’re not recruiting new people in the profession and the people we are training here -- we train a lot of nurses in Alabama -- are leaving,” said Dr. Laura Hart, the executive director of the nursing group.

She says 44% of the nurses in the country are 55 and older while only 1% is 25 and younger, which puts the future of the field in a difficult position.

Dr. Hart says they surveyed around 3,500 nurses in the state, resulting in three main complaints.

“Number one is staffing which is a problem due to number two was increased pay and then they feel undervalued by their employer,” she explained.

The letter sent cited that the Alabama Hospital Association is asking for more ARPA funds and ASNA would like some of the money to help nurses.

Dr. Hart says a bump in pay would be a short-term fix but it’s all to better help healthcare workers and patients: “We want to be able to retain and recruit nurses for our hospitals. We do not want them to close. We want to be able to staff them where patients can get care.”

While the funding is much-needed, she adds more needs to be done to research and create long-term solutions to help the healthcare field.

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