The Oregon State Board of Nursing proposed new rules that would require nurses to be vaccinated as a condition for being licensed. Similarly, the Quebec Order of Nurses announced that their nurses must be vaccinated or face suspension of their medical licenses.
I can understand if your employer requires you to be vaccinated as that gives you the choice to either work for them or not. Besides, you can always get another job elsewhere.
Nevertheless, to take away all your choices to maintain your license, in my opinion, is an overreach.
While there may be legitimate and valid reasons for anyone to refuse to be inoculated, such as a medical condition or religious belief, to state unequivocally that a nurse must be vaccinated as a condition to keep a license is going too far.
The Oregon Nurses Association provided a survey showing 60% of nurses at that state’s largest hospitals are considering leaving the profession early. With the shortage of nurses and the increasing number quitting now rather than subject themselves to the mandates, early retirement of nurses only deepens the shortage of nurses and discourages potential new nurses from joining the dwindling ranks of the profession.
Considering that hospitals already require the vaccination of nurses, this continued government oversight is unnecessary.
Are there not places where nurses who choose to not get any of the vaccines can work safely? What about work from home triage? What about working for an insurance company doing wellness care from home? There are so many other avenues where nurses can be utilized without having to submit to government mandatory vaccinations in order to have a professional license.
Barbara Odom says
This is wrong on so many levels! I am pro vaccine and was first in line to get one at our hospital. But that was my choice based on what I felt was right for me. To deny nurses their jobs was bad enough, but this has got to be the worst governmental overreach I have ever witnessed. The outcome of denying nurses their license can only be catastrophic. If they were strong enough to walk away from a particular job, they will be strong enough to walk away from the profession as a whole.
Michelle Neal says
Lori thank you for this interesting post!
Revoking a nursing license makes no sense and seems dictatorial. Nurses in my area preforming hands on care have been mandated for several years to get a Flu vaccine or wear a mask during their entire shift. With COVID-19 being so aggressive, more transmittable and more deadly than the Flu, it’s irresponsible in my opinion for any hands on healthcare worker not to be vaccinated. Yet no persons free will should EVER be violated. If employers in the healthcare industry aren’t being diligent to ensure workers with direct patient contact are vaccinated during a global pandemic, then each state or the federal government should be the overseer.
I would feel safer and so will my patients when the nurses who do not want the vaccines leave the bedside.