30% of nurses would quit over vaccine mandate, Ohio union says

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A survey conducted by the Ohio Nurses Association found that nearly 1 in 3 nurses at UC Health would choose to quit if a vaccine mandate was implemented in their health system, according to a report by cincinnati.com.

The nursing union conducted a survey Aug. 5-12 and found that 136 out of 456 nurses who responded said they would choose to quit over compliance with a vaccine mandate at UC Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Six things to know:

  1. Seventy percent of respondents indicated they already were vaccinated against COVID-19.

  2. "This places the medical center in a very difficult position, and it places the nurses in a very difficult position," said Dominic Mendiola, labor representative for the nurses association. Mr. Mendiola said the health system has been at capacity on and off since July, and there are currently 187 open nursing positions posted.

  3. Amanda Nageleisen, a spokesperson for Cincinnati-based UC Health, said, "We are proud of the thousands of our nurses, physicians and other employees who have been fully vaccinated," adding that she doesn't have data on employee vaccination rates.

  4. An April Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 1 in 6 healthcare workers said they would rather leave their job than get the COVID-19 vaccine.

  5. Several hospital officials have expressed concern that vaccine mandates would cause a mass exodus from their hospitals and that it would have a significant effect on patient care.

  6. Alan Levine, CEO of Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health, said his system decided against a vaccine mandate after a model suggested that as many as 15 percent of nurses — or 900 employees — may quit if the system did.

    "There are not enough nurses to go around. That is clear," Mr. Levine said, adding that he would hire 600 nurses right now if they were available.
 

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