Right now, when healthcare workers like you are fighting a bitter battle all across the United States, everyone is needed. Whether you are an experienced nurse or a new graduate. Whether you are a traveller who works in a different state every season, or you had recently stepped away from nursing. Everyone has a role to play.
Everyone is needed, but that also means that everyone needs to be kept safe. No nurse should have to risk their life to save that of others — and a sick nurse cannot care for any patient. Nurses need protection if they are not to become infected themselves. They need PPE.
This is a message that we have been putting out time and again as well. At NurseRecruiter.com, we help nurses find the jobs they seek, and employers to find the nurses they need. That task is more urgent now than ever. But we also want to do our bit to keep nurses safe when they do go out to that new job.
That is why we have made a donation of $500 to the efforts of the Society of Nurse Scientists Innovators Entrepreneurs & Leaders (SONSIEL) to provide healthcare workers on the front line with the masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) they need.
SONSIEL is run entirely by nurses, and they know what it means for RNs, LPNs and CNAs to confront the risks they face now. They launched their first campaign to raise funds for PPE three weeks ago, but have since joined forces with the Glo Good Foundation to scale up and pull in more resources, sooner. Together, these two campaigns have already raised over $100,000, and we are grateful to be able to make a modest contribution.
They are not the only nurses who are mobilizing resources to help their colleagues survive this crisis, in initiatives large and small. The small yet venerable nurse-run nonprofit Nurses House for example, which has existed since 1924 and normally provides “financial assistance to nurses in need as a result of illness, injury, or disability”. They are now raising funds for “nurses who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 infection, caring for a family member with COVID-19, or are under mandatory quarantine”.
On a much larger scale, the American Nurses Foundation has launched an ambitious Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses with major corporate backing. Johnson & Johnson and TYLENOL committed a $1.5 million grant to the effort of the philanthropic arm of the ANA, but every small donation is welcome too.
Medical professionals of all ranks are organizing to find, share, and distribute PPE to hospitals and clinics in need through many other projects too. A team of emergency room physicians founded the #GetUsPPE coalition, bringing together community efforts and volunteer contributors to create a central place where those who need PPE can find those who have PPE. Other physicians are collecting donations locally, for example at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, to help make sure their own colleagues are protected.
There are so many people trying their best to help in so many places that a National PPE Coalition has sprung up to guide your way. But still it’s nowhere near enough. The challenge is enormous; the risks are steep.
We will continue to try to help the best we can. If you are not one of the nurses fighting on the front lines, you can help too. Whether by supporting any of the worthy organizations linked here, or simply by rallying to the support of your local hospital. We’re all in this together, and only together can we get through this.