Diverse group of medical professionals outside the hospital wearing protective face masks

National Nurses Union Refutes New CDC Mask Guidance, Scleroderma Doesn’t Stop Nurse Graduate, and Other Nursing News

Nurses outside hospital still wearing face masks despite new CDC mask guidance

National Nurses United condemns the new CDC mask guidance recently issued for fully vaccinated people. A nursing student from Florida graduates despite living with a rare autoimmune disease. An RN and certified diabetes education specialist in Nebraska is honored for over 45 years of service. A nursing podcast offers five seasons devoted to discussing the basics of the first year working as a nurse. Read on for more nursing news and insights.

National nurses union refutes new CDC mask guidance

Officials with the organization National Nurses United (NNU), the largest union of registered nurses in the United States, have condemned the new guidance recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that state that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks, avoid crowds or large gatherings, isolate after exposure, or get tested for COVID-19 unless they develop symptoms.

Given the threat to patients across the country, nurses are especially disappointed that the CDC would ease up its COVID-19 guidance, according to a statement released by the NNU.

“This newest CDC guidance is not based on science, does not protect public health, and threatens the lives of patients, nurses, and other frontline workers across the country,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, executive director of the NNU. “Now is not the time to relax protective measures, and we are outraged that the CDC has done just that while we are still in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in a century.”

NNU’s concerns with the new guidance includes a continued high number of cases in the U.S., circulation of variants that are more transmissible and deadlier, and unanswered questions about vaccines, including how long protection from vaccines will last.

Additionally, the CDC has announced it would no longer track infections among fully vaccinated people unless they result in hospitalization or death.

The NNU’s statement also claims that the recent CDC guidelines are unjust and will disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

“There has been so much inequity in the vaccine rollout and racial inequity in who is a frontline worker put most at risk by this guidance,” said Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN, president of the NNU. “The impact of the CDC’s guidance update will be felt disproportionately by workers of color and their families and communities.”

NNU officials also said the new CDC mask guidance underlines the importance of OSHA issuing a long overdue OSHA emergency temporary standard (ETS) on infectious diseases without delay.

“If OSHA does not issue a COVID ETS immediately, we will undoubtedly see more unnecessary, preventable infections and deaths, as well as long COVID cases among nurses and other frontline workers,” said Triunfo-Cortez.

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Scleroderma doesn’t stop nurse graduate

Madison Jarocha, a nursing student from Florida, recently graduated after completing her studies despite living with a rare autoimmune disease.

Jarocha was diagnosed with scleroderma, a condition that causes tightening of the skin, joint pain, Raynaud’s disease, heartburn, and problems with various body organs. She’s undergone multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, after a subsequent cancer diagnosis, according to a recent report by CBS News, which featured Jarocha in an article following National Nurses Week. On the way to pursing her nursing education, Jarocha experienced several health setbacks, including temporarily going blind and breaking her foot.

She recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Nurse honored for over 45 years of service

Shellie Berry, RN, a nurse working in Kearney, Nebraska as a certified diabetes education specialist, has been recognized for her nearly 50-year career by the Kearney Hub.

A nurse on staff at Good Samaritan Medical Group clinic at CHI Health Good Samaritan, Berry has a background in settings such as internal medicine, nephrology, pediatrics, and med-surg. She has also been involved in diabetes education for more than 40 years and assists the Buffalo County Community Health Partners’ Diabetes Referral Network. Berry graduated from Bryan Memorial School of Nursing in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1975.

Podcast spotlight: FreshRN Podcast

A show devoted to discussing the basics of the first year working as a nurse, the FreshRN Podcast is hosted by Kati Kleber, MSN, RN, CCRN-K; Elizabeth Mills, BSN, RN, CCRN; and Melissa Stafford, BSN, RN, CCRN, SCRN.

Topics of conversation include orientation, code blues, “tricks of the trade,” personal experiences, time management, delegation, patient deaths (privacy is protected in accordance with HIPAA), and more.

The podcast offers five seasons of content and is available on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify,and Google Play. The most recent episodes include “When You Don’t Land Your Dream Job,” “How to Prepare for Your First Shift,” and “I Finally Know What I Am Doing – Now What?”

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