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Kalamazoo nurses raising reassignment concerns to Detroit area

Posted at 6:41 AM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 06:41:36-04

KALAMAZOO — Possible reassignments for Kalamazoo nurses have them concerned over the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Detroit has been a hot spot for the virus and nurses at Kalamazoo Borgess could be soon headed there until the state and national emergency orders are lifted, according to the Michigan Nurses Association.

“Although nurses want to help wherever we’re needed, it’s unreasonable to force us to uproot our lives, especially when many of us are single parents,” said Jamie Brown, RN, a critical care nurse at Borgess and president of the Borgess Staff Nurse Council. “We also have no guarantees of proper equipment like N95 masks to protect ourselves from this deadly disease wherever they send us.”

Local nurses are worried about leaving their families and the lack of protective equipment provided to them.

Jamie Brown says reassignments come with a $2 per hour raise, but some nurses are concerned they will be subject to a mandatory reassignment to the southeast side of the state.

"We are willing to talk about a meaningful incentive program for nurses who volunteer,” Brown said. “That’s what should have happened – Ascension should be working with us. No one wants to be forced to leave their home and family like this. We want to be partners, not pawns.”