Taken from NJSpotlight
Brenda Flanagan, Senior Correspondent
October 19, 2021
The South Jersey health care system Virtua Health says 120 staff members “exited” employment after refusing to obey a COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Virtua joins RWJ Barnabas, which fired 118 staffers across dozens of facilities Monday. Like most major health care networks in New Jersey, both chains mandated vaccinations and offered staff no COVID-19 testing option, so those who failed to get medical or religious exemptions lost their jobs. They each lost about 1% of staff across all facilities but say that did not impact patient services.
However, hospital networks admit severe staffing shortages have pushed them to hire so-called traveling nurses from outside agencies. Debbie White, president of Health Professionals and Allied Employees, New Jersey’s largest health care workers union, says, “This is a traumatized workforce. I expect we’re going to see even more nurses migrate out of the system … There is so much more to this than just the mandate” — the pandemic traumatized many members and some are leaving the field “because it’s just not worth it.”