Hospitals and health systems have worked hard to address workforce challenges as the COVID-19 surges continue, but are running out of options and need Congress’ help, writes Robyn Begley, AHA chief nursing officer and CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, in MedPage Today. 

“In the upcoming budget reconciliation process, Congress must prioritize funding that supports our healthcare workforce,” Begley writes. “If not, both our health providers and patients will continue to suffer now and in the long-term. Immediate steps like expediting the visa authorization process for qualified international nurses will provide near-instant relief for hospitals facing staffing shortages and recruiting obstacles. Long-term initiatives such as expanding access to schools and training programs for nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists would help build a more robust pipeline for young and talented workers to enter the profession. Greater investments to address suicide, burnout, and behavioral health disorders among healthcare professionals is critical to protecting our current workforce and the profession's future.”
 

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