There is a decline in the number of active nurses across the nation.

By some estimates, America will see a shortage of between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses by 2025. In New Jersey, the good folks at NJBIA have called for COVID relief money to be used to help solve the crisis.

The challenge is that the testimony we hear in the Garden State from people like Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli holds very little water.

Judy Persichilli

Judy, as we know, implemented the policies that saw the deaths of thousands of elderly patients when she forced nursing homes to take in sick patients.

The question is how do you deal with a culture in the NJ government that takes nurses and health care professionals for granted?

We had several calls from nurses throughout the morning, including nurse Mike who pointed out that delivery drivers are making more money than many nurses.

No retirement benefits for many and the mandates relating to COVID all add up to a preventable crisis.

Melissa from Holmdel is a nurse who called to tell us about a group called NJ Nurses Stand for Freedom. They organized to initially oppose the mandatory flu shot and have been fighting against the continued mandates and loss of exemptions. We also discussed the ratio of nurses to patients, which desperately needs to be addressed.

According to many NJ nurses, and common sense, when we have a shortage of nurses in our hospitals there is a higher risk of errors, complications, injuries, longer stays and deaths.

According to several nurses I've spoken with and the CDC, NJ is one of the worst states in the nation for sepsis deaths.

So, what do we do about it? I'm all about common sense solutions and will be working on a Nurses' Bill of Rights.

Here are some of the highlights:

— Re-hire ALL nurses terminated from pandemic mandates.

— Staffing ratio policy for any hospital receiving tax breaks and tax dollars from the state government.

— Establish tax incentives for young people to attend nursing school.

— Elimination of COVID-era mandates which have driven so many nurses out of a job and to other states.

— Reparations from COVID relief funds to re-hire all nurses fired or suspended for COVID protocol violations including, masking, distance, and vaccines.

— Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the decision process and people involved in the March 30, 2020 policy to infuse LTC facilities with hospital patients sick with COVID.

— Tax incentives and liability limits to encourage small medical practices to relocate and remain in NJ to increase the number of medical professionals.

— Health curriculum in schools emphasizing diets away from processed foods.

— Whistleblower protection for nurses coming forward.

— Elimination of flu shot mandates and restoration of religious and moral objections for other requirements.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

2021 NJ property taxes: See how your town compares

Find your municipality in this alphabetical list to see how its average property tax bill for 2021 compares to others. You can also see how much the average bill changed from 2020. For an interactive map version, click here. And for the full analysis by New Jersey 101.5, read this story.

New Jersey's smallest towns by population

New Jersey's least populated municipalities, according to the 2020 Census. This list excludes Pine Valley, which would have been the third-smallest with 21 residents but voted to merge into Pine Hill at the start of 2022.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM