For Immediate Release
December 16, 2020
RALEIGH, NC – With COVID-19 vaccinations getting underway, nurses appear to be ready to help ensure North Carolina’s deployment is effective and successful. The North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) surveyed its members this past week and found that most respondents are already willing to be vaccinated themselves and are comfortable talking with their patients about coronavirus vaccine options.
“I am encouraged by what I see here. It is critical that nurses take a leadership role in the deployment of the vaccine because patients look to us. They trust our motives and our advice,” NCNA President Dennis Taylor, DNP, ACNP-BC. “I urge all nurses to follow the science behind vaccinations as we have with masks.”
While not a scientific survey, the results give a good indication for how nurses are feeling about the evolving pandemic and the newly-approved vaccine. NCNA had 430 members respond to the survey, which was conducted December 10-14.
These numbers show there is still some work to be done to convince many nurses of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine – but notably, these numbers are significantly different from a national survey conducted by the American Nurses Association in October showing only 34 percent of nurses would be willing to be vaccinated and even more – 36 percent – would have been unwilling to be vaccinated at that point.
Many nurses appear ready to be advocates for the coronavirus vaccine and are willing to encourage their patients to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. “Community stakeholders have got to be selling the public. Nurses can’t be neutral or against this,” one respondent said. “NCNA has to come out in favor and do everything possible to sell the public and others on this vaccine.”
Of the NCNA members who say they are unwilling to be vaccinated, the vast majority of respondents appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach, rather than objecting to the vaccine outright. When asked how NCNA can increase their comfort level in talking with patients about the vaccine, one respondent said nurses need “up-to-date and factual data so we as RNs, may then communicate the information to patients in layman terms.”
Some nurses say they are concerned about misinformation and disinformation surrounding the vaccine and broader strategies to contain the coronavirus pandemic. “I'm comfortable talking with my patients about the vaccine and COVID-19. I'm uncomfortable talking about them with others due to the association with politics and conspiracy theories,” one respondent said. “I've encountered this with multiple family members and acquaintances.”
Another important aspect of the survey was an open-comment section about what NCNA members need right now. The results make clear that nurses across the state are overworked, concerned about their own safety and that of their families, and they need more support as coronavirus cases continue to rise. “Too many nurses are overwhelmed and burned out,” said one respondent.
“We need not only understanding and words on paper. We need help,” said another respondent. “I believe you will see a higher level of mental health breakdown in the coming months from nurses and hospital staff.”
NCNA urgently asks the public to continue following the 3Ws by Wearing a mask, Waiting at least six feet apart from other people, and Washing hands to help contain the coronavirus. The next phase of the pandemic could overwhelm North Carolina’s healthcare system as the number of staffed beds dwindles; it will take drastic community action to keep the state’s COVID-19 cases at a manageable level until vaccinations are available on a large scale.
Chris Cowperthwaite, APR
Director of Communications & Outreach
(919) 821-4250 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As the leading professional organization for North Carolina’s registered nurses, we equip nurses at all stages to thrive in an ever-changing healthcare environment. NCNA helps keep North Carolina nurses on the cutting edge of nursing practice, policy, education, and more. Join us as we work to advance nursing and ensure high-quality healthcare for everyone.
Established in 1902, NCNA provides continuing education, networking and legislative advocacy for registered nurses throughout North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.ncnurses.org.
The North Carolina Nurses Association serves the changing needs of its members, addresses nursing issues, and advocates for the health and well-being of all people.