Nurses willing to walk over vaccine mandate, but may not be as many as feared

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:51 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The vaccine mandate in some health care systems has become a hot issue within the wards. Some have said they’re willing to walk out over it. But how many are *actually* willing to leave and what timeline is everyone on?

North Dakota’s nursing shortage is nothing new, but the impact of vaccine mandates have some worried it will only get worse. But the talk isn’t just about the debate over vaccines, it’s also a battle against misinformation.

The North Dakota Nurses Association said vaccine mandates are normal in the industry, but admitted this one has caused a stir within the clinics.

“Will we lose nurses because of it? Possibly, but ultimately, I think most places are going to continue to do it, so it’s just going to be one of those things - if you want to be a healthcare employee during this time. If you’re going to opt out, you may not work in the health care field,” said ND Nurses Association President Tessa Johnson.

However, Johnson added the debates on social media have made it seem like a bigger walkout than it will actually be.

So, the wave of nurses leaving that some are expecting, may be more of a ripple.

In a statement, V.P of Nursing for Sanford Health in Bismarck Wendy Kopp said Sanford holds, “safety as the highest priority and has an obligation to create a safe environment for employees, patients and visitors. The Sanford Bismarck region has not seen an increase in employee resignation...”

In the meantime, it and other health care providers will be continuing to campaign for the vaccine and fill the gaps left behind. Many have been given until November to receive the vaccine, and if not, will then be furloughed.

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