DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — During the peak of COVID-19 cases in 2020, nurses all across the state were some of the many vital frontline workers as the nation battled against the pandemic.

But after diving deeper into the US Department of Labor, the Alabama State Nurses Association found that Alabama nurses are being paid 8% less than nurses in surrounding states.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses in Alabama make just over $60,000 a year, compared to the national average of $80,000 a year.

Alabama State Nurses Association President, Lindsey Harris says that for the work that these nurses do every day, they deserve equal pay.

“We want to make sure that our nurses are paid fairly,” Harris said. “We want to make sure that our nurses are definitely compensated for the work they do each and every day to help save lives and improve the lives of our Alabamians.”

Harris says the first step in trying to raise that pay to compete with the surrounding states is to bring the issue to light and make everyone aware of the gap in wages that they are seeing.