Nurses at the VA Medical Center in Tuscaloosa are demanding leadership to address their concerns over staffing shortages and other issues that are affecting the quality of care they provide to veterans.

In a release, National Nurses United said the protest stems from "severe RN understaffing, and a hostile work environment that has driven a large number of staff to leave TVAMC."

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Akeba Vester-Bell, the director of the Tuscaloosa VA's National Nurses United, said the nursing staff has been in communication with the leadership at VA Medical to voice their concerns.

"We've been talking to the leadership for years about so many things that were affecting the nursing staff here," Vester-Bell said.

Vester-Bell said the issues not only directly affect the nurses, but the veterans who receive care as well.

"Being short-staffed is causing a lot of veterans to miss much needed care and sometimes the care is delayed because we can't give optimal care because we're not equipped with the things that we need," Vester-Bell said.

Many of the protesters are having to use their personal time, including breaks and off-days, to participate in the protests.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on the efforts of nurses at the VA to improve working conditions there.

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