August 26, 2021
COVID-19 burnout is driving many nurses to quit, and hospital administrators say the state’s new vaccine mandate is compounding the shortage, too.
In the past month, four emergency room nurses — exhausted by the onslaught of patients and emotional turmoil wrought by COVID-19 — have quit at the Eureka hospital where Matt Miele works.
Miele, who has been a trauma nurse for four years, is actively looking for a less stressful nursing position and has colleagues who are, too.
“On the bad days, I think ‘What am I doing and is this what I want to be doing?’” Miele said. “It’s shifting me to my core.”
Around California — and the nation — nurses are trading in high-pressure jobs for a career change, early retirement or less demanding assignments, leading to staffing shortages in many hospitals.
Hospitals are struggling to comply with the state’s nurse staffing requirements as pandemic-induced burnout has exacerbated an already chronic nursing shortage nationwide.