COVID Illinois: StoryCorps, connectRN collaborate to tell nurses' stories 2 years into pandemic

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, April 16, 2022
StoryCorps, connectRN collaborate to tell nurses' pandemic stories
StoryCorps and connectRN are collaborating to focus on mental health and tell nurses' stories two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ConnectRN, the leading platform connecting nurses to opportunities and each other, to build a supportive and thriving network, is pleased to announce a collaboration with StoryCorps, the non-profit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. In Chicago on April 15 and 16, nurses and their families are invited to participate in recording sessions that, with permission, will be preserved in StoryCorps' archive at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.

"We are honored to work with StoryCorps to amplify the voices of nurses who are the backbone of the healthcare system," said Ted Jeanloz, CEO of connectRN. "These last two years have been extraordinarily challenging for nurses. connectRN can't think of a more important initiative than to document the essential voices of this period of time for future generations."

Every day, the connectRN platform helps thousands of nurses and aides find opportunities and share their stories with one another. Historically, finding work opportunities with hours that are manageable has been the biggest challenge facing the nursing community. With connectRN, nurses are able to choose locations and shifts that work for them and their families. At a time when nearly 52% of nurses are thinking of leaving the profession due to insufficient staffing and negative effects on their health and wellbeing, according to the American Nurses Association, it's vital to amplify the experiences that nurses have had to endure and understand what needs to be done to improve the future of healthcare.

ConnectRN supports StoryCorps' core beliefs that every story matters and that the act of listening to each other strengthens and builds connections, while reminding us of our shared humanity. ConnectRN is hopeful that the artifact created with StoryCorps at this historical time as the pandemic seemingly begins to wane, will help move us all into a more optimistic future.

"StoryCorps is excited to work with connectRN to honor the experiences of nurses during this unprecedented moment in history," said Alissa Pelc, managing director of corporate partnerships at StoryCorps. "This work will build upon StoryCorps' long-standing commitment to providing healthcare workers the opportunity to record and share their voices and stories-ensuring that the rich and diverse voices of the nursing community are preserved for generations to come."

Additionally, connectRN will bring nurses together in person to show appreciation for their service and amplify their voices during a coinciding activation they've titled: The Conversation: Nurses Speak Up. At a location in Chicago's Hyde Park, connectRN will set up a pop-up truck for nurses who are invited to meet one another, participate in StoryCorps conversations, and receive tools that they can use at work and self-care products for their downtime.

"This is a moment for anyone in the nursing community to be seen, heard and valued for what they do, every day. We can't forget how much they have sacrificed to keep us safe and are committed to keeping the conversation going," said Jen Reddy, connectRN's chief marketing officer. To learn more or to register for the event, visit