Podcast | Stressors push WA nurses to leave their jobs behind

Reporter Megan Burbank spoke with former nurses who, amid grievances like staffing shortages and low pay, changed their careers.

Marc Pechera staring into distance

Inpatient oncology nurse Marc Pechera says he was motivated to begin a career in nursing because of family pressure. Though he hadn’t planned to be a bedside nurse for as long as he has, pivoting back to that earlier path isn’t an option now. “I’m 45 and I've got three kids,” he said. “I’m too busy. This is where I am.” (Meryl Schenker for Crosscut)

Nurses took on immense responsibilities as COVID-19 raged across the country, overloading hospitals and overextending health care workers. 

Today, some of these nurses have left the field completely due to mounting pressures that were exacerbated by the pandemic – but had existed long before.

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Freelance reporter Megan Burbank talked to several former nurses in Washington about the stressors that led them to leave their field for new career paths like massage therapy and web development.   

In this episode of Crosscut Reports, host Maleeha Syed talks with Burbank about what drew these nurses to the field; what pushed them out; and how their lives have changed for the better since leaving. 

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