Press Release

RNs to Hold Vigil in Memory of El Paso RN Karla Dominguez Who Died of COVID-19

Nurse holding sign

Registered nurses will hold a memorial Wednesday night in memory of Karla Dominguez, a pediatric intensive care nurse at Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus in El Paso who died of COVID-19.

Dominguez, who was just 33, died on April 19. She is one of more than 60 RN COVID-19 deaths nationally of nurses and at least 170 health care workers overall, says National Nurses United.

The memorial will be conducted virtually.

  • What: Memorial for Karla Dominguez, RN
  • When: Wednesday, April 29, 8:30 p.m. MT 

The event will be livestreamed via Facebook Live at the following profile:

“We mourn the loss of our brave sister Karla Dominguez who dedicated her life to caring for sick children,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN.

“Karla’s unnecessary death is a reminder of how far too many of our frontline caregivers continue to put their lives in jeopardy every day, for their patients, at a time when our hospitals and our elected leaders have still not guaranteed all nurses and health care workers have the full, proper protective equipment they need in the face of this deadly pandemic,” Castillo said.

“We are gathering to remember the life of our or coworker Karla Dominguez, RN who had such a bright future ahead of her, said Idali Cooper, a Pediatric ICU RN at the Hospitals of Providence Memorial and one of Karla’s colleagues.

“We also are here to remember that health care workers should not be dying in this moment of COVID.  All nurses and our coworkers should have the proper personal protective equipment to ensure their safety and safety of their families and patients,” Cooper said. 

Jean Ross, RN, National Nurses United President said NNU joins in “mourning Karla’s loss. Her passing and the deaths of so many other nurses are a major blow to their communities, especially at a time when we need as many health care workers ready to safely take care of the growing numbers of COVID-19 patients.”

“Nurses are dying, and this is unacceptable. Our lives are not expendable. Karla’s life was not expendable. As we take this moment to honor Karla, we also need to show the world that nurses need to be protected,” said Ross.

In a statement to the El Paso Times, Karla’s father remembered his daughter. “She was a dedicated person. She hardly ever called in sick,” Dr. Carlos Dominguez said. “She didn’t want to miss work. She wanted to be with her kids (her patients). She called them her kids.”

In addition to the deaths of frontline health care workers, more than 9,000 have been infected with the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though the CDC says the real number is likely to be much higher due to limited testing and reporting.

NNU has been pressing hospitals and federal and state agencies across the nation to ensure safe working conditions, including at minimum N95 respiratory masks and other proper head to toe covering for all nurses and other hospital workers.