ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Since the start of the pandemic, nurses have been in the spotlight for taking care of patients with and without COVID. Now, two years later, COVID is still here and some nurses say they are still struggling, especially when it comes to staffing.

“So many nurses are leaving the field, not just nurses; I’ll speak about techs and CNAs as well. We all work together and so many people are leaving the field that it’s a scary time because I think some places are working under unsafe, I would say environments as far as the patient to nurse ratio,” says Brenda Robinson.

Robinson has been a nurse with the Veterans Health Administration for 28 years. She says for nurses to avoid burnout, both those who have experience or are just starting out, they need to take care of not just their patients but themselves.

“It’s often difficult for us to look out for ourselves because we are always advocating, serving and taking care of other people, ” Robinson says, “so for me, I like to remind people to take time out for themselves because it is so important and people remind me of that.” 

Robinson, who is the founder of the Black Nurses Coalition, says another issue hospitals face is a lack of diversity, “when you look at RN’s, RN’s are mainly white. So it’s been affecting us a long time so it’s not recent. Even when I started this organization part of our goal in eliminating healthcare disparities is increasing diversity in nursing. Not just bedside nurses but in leadership positions in healthcare and in academia because we don’t have people who look like me teaching these courses in nursing.”