Nurses demonstrated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Thursday to advocate for better working conditions and to remember health care professionals lost during the pandemic.
Crowds of nurses marched at the White House. Many were holding signs, some reading "safe staffing saves lives" and calling for lower patient-to-staff ratios.
Nurses told News4 that they’re overworked and underpaid.
“A lot of burnout. We’ve had nurses die. A lot of nurses have stepped away,” one demonstrator said. “So patient safety is at risk.”
The organization says they’re aiming to increase wages, improve staffing levels, prevent violence against health care workers and fight discrimination and bias, according to a press release.
“We’re going to have many great things happening, including music and celebration as well as a wonderful memorial for those we lost to COVID-19,” one demonstrator said. “This is our time for change."
The march coincides with the final day of National Nurses Week — and the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern nursing.
The 200th anniversary of her birth came and went in 2020 — nurses were busy battling the pandemic, and celebrations didn’t go forward as planned.
For the nurses who convened on the National Mall in 2022, it was a long-awaited moment to celebrate their profession and look to the future.
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