Ballad Health seeks 350 nurses as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise

Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health is seeking to hire 350 nurses to fill staffing needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a series of tweets from the health system. 

The call for more nurses comes as employees are sidelined from work due to the pandemic and as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge.

On Nov. 4, Ballad Health Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Smithgall said about 110 of the 205 workers who were away from work are clinical workers.

"In other areas of the country, they've sometimes had to increase the number of patients per nurse because they don't have enough resources," Ms. Smithgall told local news station WCYB. "Our goal is not to get there."

Ballad Health said Nov. 5 it has 192 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 41 of whom were in the intensive care unit, and 37 designated COVID-19 hospital beds available.

The health system already announced in October that it would begin deferring elective procedures at some Tennessee hospitals.

Ballad Health operates 21 hospitals in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.


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