Stop calling nurses heroes — protect our lives instead, says the leader of America’s largest nurses union

by Bonnie Castillo


  • Bonnie Castillo, RN, is executive director of National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States, with more than 150,000 members.
  • Castillo says the federal government has failed to properly protect and support frontline workers.
  • Of the four COVID-19 legislative packages passed, none has earmarked funds for healthcare worker personal protective equipment.
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Today is International Nurses Day, which happens to fall during the World Health Organization’s “International Year of the Nurse and Midwife” and at the culmination of Nurses’ Week in the United States. While this nexus of nurse-centric calendar dates should be a day of great honor for nurses, hundreds of my colleagues from around the world, who were caring for their patients and spending time with their families just a few short months ago, will not be here to see it.

They will not be here to see it because they have lost their lives on the front lines of COVID-19 — and not just by succumbing to the virus, but also due to a complete disregard for their health and safety by governments and employers. 

As of yesterday, more than 100 registered nurses in the United States — including six members of my union, National Nurses United — have passed away. Noel Sinkiat will miss his dream retirement motorcycle trip. Celia Yap Banago won’t make it to a celebration marking her 40-year-anniversary at her hospital. Karla Dominguez’s pediatric patients, or her “kids” as she called them, are now without their registered nurse “mom.” Jeff Baumbach will no longer be sharing any life lessons with his daughter, and Helen Gbodi and Paul Anthony Camagay will never again care for their patients.

Bee Extremely Amazed LLC Donates PPE to Local Nurses and medical staff

As myself the Owner of Bee Extremely Amazed LLC and an RN, i I would like to thank my other fellow health care professionals for all the hard work you are doing to take care of everyone during this Covid19 pandemic. You are HEREO’S but I agree that people are not listening and the nurses and doctors are not well protected. Nurses take the oath to help the sick, yes, but we also expect to have proper PPE. Bee Extremely Amazed has donated N95 masks, paper masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and Lysol to local Nurses and medical staff to help out. We will be handing out another round here soon as well to help protect staff. Thank you for all you do. Stay safe my friends.

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