Nebraska government under fire for ad recruiting nurses without COVID vaccination

Some Nebraska healthcare workers have received postcards from the state advertising nursing jobs with bonuses up to $5,000. The cards also read "No mandated COVID-19 vaccination," according to The Washington Post.

Abbey Klein, RN, said she had previously received similar ads from the state, but the vaccination mention was new.  

"It feels like the governor was backtracking and trying to capitalize on nurses who don't want to be vaccinated," Ms. Klein told the Post. "It feels insulting to the profession."

Democratic state Sen. Carol Blood said she received about 50 calls and messages from constituents about the recruitment effort, the Post reported. Constituents also contacted her about an online job posting for nursing positions at a state veterans facility with "no mandated COVID-19 vaccinations."

Ms. Blood wrote to Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts and state Veterans Affairs Director John Hilgert, demanding to know why unvaccinated staff members are being recruited for state-run facilities. Ms. Blood said she had not received a response from either as of Aug. 24. 

Taylor Gage, spokesperson for Mr. Ricketts' office, declined the Post's request for comment on the letter, saying the governor was reviewing it. He confirmed that the state sent the postcard to healthcare workers in an effort to "address workforce challenges."

"Many in the healthcare field resent this personal healthcare choice being mandated by their employer," Mr. Gage wrote in an email to the Post. "For nurses finding themselves in that situation, the state welcomes them to apply for a position in State government where we do not have a coronavirus vaccine mandate."

It is unknown how many workers received the cards and whether leaders are trying to fill specific jobs, according to the Post.


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