Cook County Board President Todd Stroger authorized each of those nurses to get 10 days of full pay while they assist with humanitarian efforts. The plan is moving forward even though the county remains financially strapped and troubled.
Thirty-six nurses from Stroger Hospital will join medical professionals already in Haiti to deal with the devastation caused by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that leveled most of the capital city of Port-au-Prince Tuesday. There are many nurses going, but one is a veteran nurse. Margarette Dupiton has lived in the United States for roughly 39 years but was born in Haiti and says she just has to help.
"I have to go. If you watch CNN and see your people in that condition, and you know deep inside you can help, you got to go," she said.
"We have assembled nurses all over the country. We know there are doctors there, but everyone knows nurses save lives. We feel nurses have been left out of the mix. Once the doctors prescribe, it's the nurses that save the lives," said Leslie Curtis, National Nurses United.
With tens of thousands feared dead many of those from Haiti or who have relatives in there are concerned. The nurses may begin to leave as soon as this weekend.
Donations to help cover the cost of sending nurses to Haiti can be made online at nationalnursesunited.org