The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), representing over 229,000 registered nurses in Pennsylvania, strongly recommends that nurses and healthcare professionals receive one of the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 cases have surged due to the rapid emergence of variants, vaccination hesitancy, and pockets of the state and nation with poor vaccination rates.
It is essential that we mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As trusted professionals, nurses are at the epicenter of the healthcare system as we serve communities and diverse patient populations.
“Nurses are leaving the profession across the country due to burnout, fatigue, and even struggles with mental health,” stated Dr. Deb Cardenas, President of PSNA. “We cannot afford to have professional nurses leave the bedside in Pennsylvania. Although hospitals and health systems may have beds available, we need frontline nurses to care for patients. If nurses leave, no one will be available to care for the sick.”
According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses Provision 5, “the nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety, preserve wholeness of character and integrity, maintain competence, and continue personal and professional growth” (Fowler, 2015). Per the Code of Ethics, nurses have a duty to themselves to promote and preserve their own health – for their own sake. This involves risks, including exposure to “the hazards intrinsic to the care of the people who are critically ill.” Nurses play a pivotal role in educating the public to follow the science as it relates to vaccines and current health guidelines. PSNA continues to advocate for a healthy nursing workforce, a safe environment in which to practice, and the resilience to overcome challenges related to this pandemic. With exposure to an increasing number of the unvaccinated population, protecting oneself is vital.
Fowler, M. (2015). Guide to the code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements (2nd ed.). American Nurses Association.