The Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) is seeking state funding to address the lack of nursing in the state.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping nurses staffed has been a nationwide struggle. Between the COVID—19 pandemic and controversy over mandated vaccines for healthcare workers, the nation has seen a marked decrease in hospital staffing.

Recently, the ASNA pled with the Alabama legislature to grant more state funding.

Alabama faces a unique problem with nurse staffing. According to the ASNA, nurse pay in Alabama is around 8% lower than in bordering states, increasing difficulty in hiring and keeping necessary nursing staff. 

According to Nursing Solutions Inc., Alabama, amongst other southeastern states, has the highest turnover rate in the nation.

The ASNA is seeking state funding to increase nurses' salaries in the state, which will help Alabama hospitals acquire and keep more nurses. 

Many nurses and administrators have long complained about less-than-optimal wages for nurses and nursing staff. According to ASNA President Dr. Lindsey Harris, the lack of fair wages is the main driving force behind the lack of staffing in nursing.

According to Harris, nurses can potentially make two to three times more by traveling to another hospital.

On Sept. 3, 2021, Gov. Kay Ivey announced an allocation of $12.3 million of the Coronavirus Relief Fund to secure out-of-state travel nurses to work in Alabama hospitals in a temporary capacity. Ivey's ruling allowed the state to deal with short-term staffing shortages.

There has been no response from the Alabama legislature if they will honor the request from the ASNA.

The ASNA is an advocacy group for nurses across the state led by industry leaders. The ASNA seeks to improve Alabama nurses' salaries, benefits, and working conditions.

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