A pandemic snapshot: 10 hospitals, health systems experiencing workforce shortages

As COVID-19 surges are seen across the country, many health systems are struggling to recruit employees and sustain adequate staffing.

Below is a snapshot of several hospitals and health systems looking to hire more employees amid the pandemic.

Note: This list is not exhaustive.

1. "Staffing is largely the crux of any current capacity issues," Denver-based HealthOne spokesperson Stephanie Sullivan told KCNC-TV. "At HealthONE we are addressing that by offering shift incentives for a variety of roles."

2. Augusta (Ga.) University Health is seeking 250 nurses, partly to staff an intensive care unit it converted into a COVID-19 ICU, employment ads show. "The demand is just greater than the supply," Laura Brower, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer at Augusta University, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

3. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City is increasing the number of nonclinical front-line staff working from home to reduce the number of on-site hospital staff and to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection and boost environmental safety for employees working in patient care settings, the health system said Nov. 10.

4. Strained Wisconsin hospitals are offering high pay and large signing bonuses to attract workers who can assist with staffing needs as workers are sidelined, according to The Post-Crescent, which cited a $10,000 nurse sign-on bonus at Select Specialty Hospital in Madison as an example. On Nov. 1, Wisconsin recorded that 5 percent of the 228,863 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state that day were healthcare workers. 

5. Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare is ramping up its nursing workforce, hiring about 200 traveling nurses — and adding ICU and medical/surgical beds — amid a COVID-19 surge. The health system also brought in 31 nurses from New York City-based NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Group.

6. San Antonio-based Baptist Health System has scheduled job fairs as it seeks to fill 55 full-time and three part-time patient care assistant positions and 13 additional as-needed positions, according to News 4 San Antonio

7. Elbert (Ga.) Memorial Hospital has asked the state government for more nurses. "We're already struggling to find staff," Kerry Trapnell, CEO of Elbert Memorial, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

8. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic has more than 500 openings Mayo Clinic in Arizona and more than 4,000 for the entire Mayo Clinic enterprise, slightly more than were available at this time last year, the health system told Becker's Nov. 6. Mayo Clinic said nursing is the greatest hiring need, but support areas such as environmental services and administrative operations need workers, and clinical technicians are needed.  

9. Denver Health is offering incentive pay to current nurses to get them to pick up additional shifts, according to an Oct. 29 internal email regarding a COVID-19 surge, cited by KCNC-TV. "We are also taking positive steps to address staffing shortages and quickly fill vacant positions by speeding up the hiring process for nurses and other staff. In the past three months, we have hired 582 staff members, including 129 registered nurses, 95 certified nursing assistants … we have hired 57 traveling nurses," the email reads.

10. Phoenix-based Banner Health confirmed to Becker's Nov. 4 that the health system has 2,170 job openings in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming and California. 

More articles on workforce:
Premier Health to outsource about 700 food, environmental services jobs
Where hospital employees have tested positive for COVID-19: November
Kansas health system closes child care center after 18 employees get COVID-19 


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