BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tuesday morning at the Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VA), registered nurses were protesting due to safety concerns at the facility.

The concerns include short staffing and nurses working as long as 20 hours straight, along with inaction by management on these issues, National Nurses United said. The union represents roughly 380 registered nurses at the Buffalo VA.

“As nurses, we pride ourselves in taking care of our patients, but we can’t provide the care they need and deserve when we’re short-staffed,” said Nicole White, RN, an NNU leader. “There is a dire need for management to address this to improve patient care, decrease nurse fatigue, and improve nurse recruitment and retention at our facility. Lengthy shifts aren’t a long-term solution.”

The protest on Bailey Avenue began at 7 a.m. The VA Western New York Healthcare System released a statement during the afternoon:

“VA nurses have served on the front lines of veteran care, ensuring that each patient receives the quality health care and services they have earned and deserve. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our nurses have worked tirelessly providing the compassionate care VA nurses are known for. VA could not be more proud of their individual and collective contributions and sacrifices. We are vigorously pursuing multiple actions necessary to recruit and retain our nursing workforce. These actions, pursued across the Nation and at the Department level, are aimed at addressing the concerns of VA nursing.”

VA Western New York Healthcare System

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.