ANA Sends Immediate Action Request to HHS-Secretary Xavier Becerra
September 1, 2021
The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 509F
200 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Secretary Becerra:
On behalf of the American Nurses Association (ANA), I write to urge robust and immediate action to address the unsustainable nurse staffing shortage facing our country. Nurses have remained steadfast on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic, while overcoming challenges, risks to their personal health and safety such as limited personal protective equipment and the physical, emotional and mental health burden of the COVID-19 virus. Now, the Delta variant is causing cases to soar, overrunning hospital and staff capacity. These current circumstances have only exacerbated underlying, chronic nursing workforce challenges that have persisted for years. Since the nation began COVID-19 mitigation and response efforts, much focus has been placed on nurses facing shortages of equipment to appropriately care for patients. Now, it is imperative that the Administration acknowledge and take concrete steps to address a more dire shortage: a crisis-level human resource shortage of nurses that puts our ability to care for patients in jeopardy.
ANA is deeply concerned that this severe shortage of nurses, especially in areas experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 cases, will have long-term repercussions for the profession, the entire health care delivery system, and ultimately, on the health of the nation. To address this crisis and to ensure that we have a strong nursing workforce for the future, ANA urges the Administration to declare a national nurse staffing crisis and take immediate steps to develop and implement both short- and long-term solutions.
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