MILWAUKEE— As cases of COVID-19 continue to climb and ICU beds in Wisconsin remain in short supply, the state and rest of the country continue to navigate an ongoing nursing shortage.

"Nursing has been a very difficult job for a long time now," Jamie Lucas, executive director of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, told Spectrum News 1 on Wednesday. "The model of staffing in a hospital oftentimes has more to do with productivity and efficiency measures that are more suitable for a factory than a hospital, and the pandemic has lifted the veil on this and exacerbated the problem."

The nursing profession itself was already forecast to deal with sweeping shortages before the pandemic began, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Wisconsin Nurses Association predicts the state stands lose 32,000 nurses from direct patient care within the next decade.

"Essentially the can't endure the things they face at work— their constant short-staffing even pre-pandemic weighed on their souls," Lucas added.

You can watch the entire interview above.