By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Nurses in Colorado say that COVID has cost them and they took to the streets on Thursday to get their message out. They also say they’re finding it harder to make ends meet.

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Chanting “staffing saves lives” the nurses paraded through downtown Denver. They claim Congress is trying to cap the pay of traveling nurses and they want lawmakers to stop meddling in the free markets.

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The health care workers also want safer ratios between the number of nurses to patients.

“We are morally injured, we worked with trash bags as gowns, we used N-95s over and over again until they literally fell apart. We haven’t received hazard pay, we didn’t receive a raise, we got a 3% cost of living raise this year, which is nothing. We didn’t receive retention bonuses. We’re just tired, we’re exhausted,” said emergency room nurse Peggy Carter.

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Some nurses claim their employers are not helping minority nurses who are treated poorly while on the job.

Jennifer McRae