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Amid nationwide nursing shortages, hear from locals entering the profession

Registered nurses Bonnie Carroll (left) and Brooke Ryan draw blood from Gray.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR
Registered nurses in Connecticut.

Nursing shortages are being reported across the country, but there’s also rising interest in this critically important profession.

This hour, hear from nurses entering the field in our state, and from nursing educators and experts about why the term “burnout” doesn’t capture what’s driving the shortage. University of Saint Joseph professor Heather Evans prefers the term “moral distress.”

Nurses are by nature the noticers, the canaries in the coal mine, but the conditions of the pandemic have prompted reports of higher-than-average nurse-to-patient ratios, exacerbating a long-looming shortage. As nurse and author Theresa Brown wrote, "nurses are not an infinitely elastic resource; they’re people, many of whom are exhausted, traumatized, barely holding themselves together. It’s time to really see and care for them."

What are the barriers to keeping nurses in the field?


  • Theresa Brown, PhD, BSN, RN - Nurse; Author, “Healing: When A Nurse Becomes a Patient” (2022)
  • Heather Evans, Ph.D., RNC-MNN, CLC - Nurse; Assistant Professor of Nursing, University of Saint Joseph
  • Victoria Rufo, RN - Nurse; Student, University of Saint Joseph
  • Tori Johnston, CNA - Nurse; Student, Quinnipiac University
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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live. She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH. She enjoys Victorian novels and walks with her dog Sonny.
Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.