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Even as New York nurses return to work, more strikes could follow

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Even as 7,000 nurses return to work at two of New York’s busiest hospitals after a three-day strike, colleagues around the country say it’s just a matter of time before frontline workers at other hospitals begin walking the picket line.

Problems are mounting at hospitals across the nation as they try to deal with widespread staffing shortages, overworked nurses beaten down by the pandemic and a busted pipeline of new nurses.

That’s led to nurses juggling dangerously high caseloads, said Michelle Collins, dean at the college of nursing and health at Loyola University New Orleans.

“There’s no place that’s immune from what’s happening with the nursing shortage,” Collins said. “It’s everywhere.”

Union leaders say the tentative contract agreement ending the strike by nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center, each privately owned, nonprofit hospitals that hold over 1,000 beds in New York City, will relieve chronic short staffing and boost pay by 19% over three years.

The walkout, which ended Thursday, was just the latest dispute between nurses and their employers.

Last year, six unions representing a total of 32,000 nurses launched strikes outside of hospital systems…

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