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Intersection: The National Nurse Shortage; A Conversation With VA Secretary Denis McDonough

Veterans Affairs secretary Denis McDonough. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Veterans Affairs secretary Denis McDonough. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

A nationwide nursing shortage has been made worse by the pandemic. This week, nurses protested outside a hospital in Kissimmee, calling for more staff to be hired.

In some states, hospitals are offering signing bonuses, and nursing programs like USF’s college of Nursing, are working to enrol more students in their programs to alleviate the shortage.

On this episode of Intersection, we hear from two nurses, one a registered nurse with more than 30 years experience, and the other a new graduate, about the challenges facing the profession. 

We also talk to WMFE health reporter Abe Aboraya about some of the reasons for the nursing shortage beyond the pandemic- and what’s being done to fill the gap. 

VA secretary Denis McDonough visited Orlando last week, touring the VA hospital and meeting with local officials, and speaking at a Pride event, where he announced the department of Veterans Affairs would offer gender confirmation surgery. 

Intersection host Matthew Peddie sat down with McDonough before his stop at the Pride event to discuss the challenges facing the VA including staff shortages and preventing veteran suicide.