Nurses, more powerful and visible after Covid, capitalize on new clout in Washington

Empowered by their role fighting Covid, nurses are planning a march on Washington, and pushing lawmakers and Biden to improve their pay and enact new workplace protections.

WASHINGTON — Since the start of Covid-19, nurses have been hailed as heroes. But two years into the pandemic, they want more than their neighbors banging on pots and pans.

Instead, the country’s roughly 4 million nurses are using the attention — and the accompanying political clout — to spotlight their sometimes-oppressive working conditions. Amid the country’s health emergency and ongoing shortage of health workers, they’re scrambling to make sure the moment doesn’t slip away.

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