RWJ Hospital Chief: We Support Nurses, Too

 In Nurses Weekly

This is in response to the Star-Ledger’s recent editorial, “Support the nurses’ strike: They need more help.”

I applaud the Star-Ledger’s call to support nurses. We in the administration at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital agree.

There is no profession more noble than nursing. Nurses and clinical providers across all health care professions are challenged right now. These challenges deserve our undivided attention because all of us, and those that we love, rely on our health care system.

Nurses and their clinical colleagues are essential and should never be cast as just heroes of the pandemic. At some point in our lives, we will all benefit from the care of a nurse.

We agree that our nurses deserve support. (About 1,700 nurses at the hospital in New Brunswick have been on strike since Aug. 4.) We are committed to providing them with a safe, respectful clinical setting where they can be fulfilled professionally and lead healthy lifestyles. Achieving this means that everybody wins. We have twice met the demands of their union in contract proposals that were voted down by their members.

According to national data from the Leapfrog Group, New Jersey has the safest care in the United States today. Our internal, hospital data show progress in all quality measures from the past 18 months. We want to continue that progress.

Oversimplifying the obstacles to addressing national and global shortages of health care professionals does not solve them. Hospital administrators and nursing leaders at all organizations are competing against each other for talent and also collaborating on how to bring more people into the profession.

Let’s not forget that we are all guided by a singular mission: to preserve life.

  • Bill Arnold, Chief Executive Officer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

(This story originally appeared in

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