HEARTBROKEN HERO: Fired nurse desperate to come back despite shortage

‘I lost my house. I lived in a nice condo. I lost my car. It’s been hard’: Sharon-Rose Nyambiya, licensed nurse

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She lost her job as a nurse in March because she would not disclose her vaccination status.

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Today, with a severe shortage of nurses troubling the healthcare system, Sharon-Rose Nyambiya wonders why she can’t find a job as a nurse anymore.

« I’m pretty much nearly homeless now because I lost my job, » said Nyambiya, who worked at Trillium Health Partners until March.

“I lost my house. I lived in a nice condo. I lost my car. It was hard.

She has been a nurse for six years, has a young toddler, and still has nursing student debt.

Watching her frontline colleagues struggle in understaffed ICUs and ERs has been frustrating as she said she was ready to come back to help increase staff and ease the burden.

But with current hospital mandates, she cannot.

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“Life has been very stressful. In fact, I’ve been to the ER a few times because of the stress I’ve been through,” said Nyambiya from Niagara Region.

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The Nurses Association of Ontario (ONA) and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) do not have aggregate figures showing how many of their nurses have lost their jobs for not having complied with vaccination mandates.

The RNAO said welcoming back those who were made redundant would not make a huge positive difference.

« We don’t see it as a solution, » said Doris Grinspun, RNAO.

« It may be the opposite. They may end up occupying our beds. Not only that, but colleagues may leave because they don’t want to put their families at risk.

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She also said such a move could potentially jeopardize the well-being of patients who are already in a precarious state.

For months, nurses and others working in the struggling health sector have insisted that repealing Bill 124 – which limits nurses’ pay increases to 1% – would have a bigger effect. to keep nurses in the system and attract others.

“The question isn’t why don’t we put those nurses back in,” Grinspun said. « The solution is to make Bill 124 disappear. »

Nyambiya said she no longer appreciates the certificate of appreciation she received for working long hours at the start of the pandemic.

She is trying to revive her nursing career.

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Two of her nurse friends are in a similar situation.

« As far as Ontario goes, I’ve applied for over 200 jobs and all of them say you have to provide your vaccination status, » Nyambiya said.

She continues to apply for a job.



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