Are Travel Nurses Required to Be Vaccinated

Are Travel Nurses Required to Be Vaccinated

Connecting state and local regime leaders

Task ads for open positions in Nebraska’due south state-run facilities highlight optional Covid-nineteen vaccines, a move that contradicts federal mandates for health workers and could cost the state some of its insurance reimbursements.

  • Coronavirus

  • Health Intendance

  • Public Health

On Monday afternoon, Nebraska state Sen. Carol Blood received a Facebook message from a constituent containing a screenshot of an advertisement recruiting nurses for a veterans’ home in her district. The ad, posted earlier in August, opened with a $five,000 hiring bonus, followed by four words.

courtesy Sen. Carol Blood

“No mandated Covid-19 vaccinations.”

The constituent wanted answers, said Claret, a Democrat from Bellevue. “They were asking, ‘How is this adequate, that we would recruit nurses and encourage those that are not vaccinated to come up and piece of work effectually our virtually vulnerable?’”

Blood wanted answers, too. The job ads—46 of them, touting vaccine-optional positions in land-run veterans’ homes, youth detention facilities, psychiatric hospitals and prisons—were posted as Covid-19 cases connected to increase across the state. The policy seemed to straight contradict an earlier announcement from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that all medical personnel working in its health facilities beyond the land would exist required to receive the vaccine, also as a similar mandate from the Biden administration for workers in long-term care facilities.

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In a letter dated Aug. 23, Blood asked Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Veterans Diplomacy Director John Hilgers to explicate “why the state feels this is an acceptable option and the reasoning behind allowing unvaccinated staff into our facilities.”

“I do understand we take a serious shortage of staff. We too know that a part of these shortages are systemic issues under management,” she wrote. “With that said, putting those who live in these facilities at chance because we demand to detect bodies to hire is not adequate.”

The recruitment campaign, information technology turned out, went further than she’d thought. Medical workers beyond the state—and some in Colorado—later reported receiving postcards in their mailboxes highlighting “an opportunity to continue your career as a nursing professional” at land-run facilities where Covid-19 vaccinations are “encouraged” simply “non required.”

courtesy Sen. Ballad Blood

The advertising blitz came after eight of Nebraska’s major private health-intendance systems said they would mandate vaccines for employees, leading to what Blood called less-than-ideal eyes.

“It nigh looks—and I don’t know that this is the instance—similar nosotros’re trying to scoop upwardly the people that want to go out those facilities because they don’t want to exist vaccinated,” she said. “The science tells usa that people need to exist vaccinated and masked to slow the Delta variant down, but the state is ignoring that science, and I just want to know why. What are we basing that decision on? I recollect it’southward a fair question.”

Claret asked Ricketts and Hilger to answer by Friday and, as of this morning, had not heard from either.

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Taylor Gage, a spokesman for the governor, confirmed that Ricketts approved the ads, which likewise tout hiring bonuses of up to $five,000.

“The state has been pursuing a multifariousness of strategies to accost workforce challenges,” he said via email. “At the governor’s management, the State Personnel Division consulted with state agencies to develop this recruitment effort.”

At a press conference Thursday, Ricketts said the ads were an extra recruiting button to shore upwards the state’s long standing nursing shortage and were non meant to target unvaccinated nurses specifically.

“We have a number of positions open at the country of Nebraska. We need nurses just similar everybody else does,” he said. “We want to recruit them. We also heard from a lot of people when the hospitals made that declaration that they were very unhappy with their employers interfering with their personal health decisions. We want nurses to not leave the workforce, considering we need them all.”

Campaign Angers Nurses and Hospitals

The motion angered nurses beyond the state. In a alphabetic character to Ricketts, Kari Wade, president of the Nebraska Nurses Association, said the ads were a slap in the face for caregivers who accept spent more a twelvemonth promoting public health measures proven to slow the spread of the virus, including face coverings and vaccination.

“The state of Nebraska’s recruitment approach of non requiring Covid-19 vaccination existence used as an incentive demeans the dedication and diligence the nursing workforce has demonstrated during the pandemic to meliorate the health of all Nebraskans,” she said. “This promotion does not serve our state well.”

The Nebraska Hospital Association also panned the ads, saying in a letter that “promoting the lack of vaccine requirements every bit an incentive flies in the confront of what nosotros, as Nebraska hospitals and health systems, believe in terms of ideals and patient safety.”

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The motility could as well have financial implications for the state. The Biden administration’s policy for long-term intendance workers stipulates that the Covid-19 vaccination is a “condition of participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” pregnant that facilities that don’t comply could be at risk of losing federal reimbursements for the care they requite to patients covered under those plans.

But information technology’s unclear how much that might cost Nebraska. Officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did non return a asking for data, and Blood said she had similar questions that would exist addressed in a second alphabetic character if Ricketts did not respond to her original query by the end of Friday.

Ricketts on Thursday as well declared a “staffing emergency” for the state’s hospitals, waiving some education and licensing requirements for providers and assuasive “retired or inactive” health-care professionals to come back to work.

The governor said he was open to “further measures” to shore up staffing at hospitals, but would not corroborate a mandate for either face coverings or vaccines, despite believing that vaccinations are “our best tool against the virus.” That messaging is “admittedly non” hypocritical when compared to the language in the chore advertisements, he added.

“If you go look at our advert, for case, we say, ‘while vaccines are encouraged, they’re not required,’” he said. “We need people to practice this because it’southward function of personal responsibility for themselves.”

Are Travel Nurses Required to Be Vaccinated