GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — One Green Bay nurse says she's held patients' hands, comforted and cried with families.
Now, she's stepping away.
"I’m losing all of that because I refuse to put something into my body I don’t think is right for me right now," Hope Evelyn said.
As vaccine mandate deadlines for Northeast Wisconsin healthcare workers approach, Evelyn is still unvaccinated.
Though she was granted a religious exemption by her employer, the 22-year-old is leaving work voluntarily.
"I shouldn’t be targeted or discriminated upon because I am not vaccinated and have to get weekly testing, which comes out of my own pocket for pay," she said.
Due to safety concerns, Evelyn chose not to use her full name for the interview. But she says, without her, hospitals are already dealing with a full slate of patients.
We are continuing to be short staffed," she said.
Advocate Aurora Health was one of the first local systems to mandate vaccination.
"We are first and foremost a safe, clinical enterprise," President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh told team members in an Aug. 4 video.
"Our ultimate duty is to protect the health and safety of our team members, patients, and communities."
Prevea Health’s deadline already passed on Oct. 5.
"Scientific data shows us the current Covid-19 vaccines are not only safe but effective in protecting individuals from contracting Covid-19 or becoming hospitalized with the virus," President and CEO Dr. Ashok Rai said on Aug. 4.
But what’s next for Evelyn? She plans to continue her passion as a nurse by starting a nonprofit and running for assemblywoman.
"Going around teaching people about their medications, making sure they’re getting the adequate follow up and check ups that they need would be amazing," she said. "And I think that’s something that I’m really passionate about."