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Two years into the pandemic, the state of Vermont's nursing workforce

Nurses running with patient on hospital gurney to emergency ward
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Nurses in Vermont were already exhausted when the omicron variant of COVID-19 surged in Vermont this winter. This hour, we talk about how an already-stressed workforce is dealing with a steady stream of patients and a growing number of COVID-19 infections.

Live call-in discussion: The shortage of nurses in Vermont has reached a crisis point. Sen. Bernie Sanders says the state needs to add 9,000 nurses to the workforce over the next seven years. This hour, we talk with a nurse, a hospital administrator and a nursing school teacher about how they’re addressing the shortage. And we’ll look at how travel nurses are filling the gaps.

Our guests are:

  • Julie Schneckenburger, chief nursing officer at Northeast Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury
  • Lisa Fox, associate dean of nursing at Vermont Tech
  • Deb Snell, president of the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, and a nurse who works in the medical ICU, as well as with with travel nurses

Broadcast live on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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Mikaela Lefrak joined Vermont Public in 2021 as co-host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Tedra joined Vermont Public as a producer for Vermont Edition in January 2022. Before moving to Vermont, she was a journalist in New York City for 20 years. She has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.