Hospitals scramble to hire workers: Snapshots from 5 states

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Amid the latest COVID-19 wave, U.S. hospitals and health systems are seeking healthcare workers to help alleviate staffing strains.

Here are snapshots from five states facing those strains.


Wisconsin hospitals are struggling to find nurses as some workers leave their profession and others take other temporary jobs, according to the Post-Crescent

Neenah-based ThedaCare, for example, reported a "critical need" for nearly 200 nursing and nursing assistant staff Aug. 23 amid the public health crisis, the newspaper stated. Various health systems are also offering signing bonuses up to $15,000 to nurses and bringing in temporary workers. 

North Carolina

In North Carolina, Chapel Hill-based UNC Health had 1,100 openings for nurses in 13 hospitals as of Aug. 25, according to news station WRAL. Durham-based Duke University Health System has 700 openings. 

Hospital leaders told WRAL they hope to attract nurses with signing bonuses, relocation expenses and tuition reimbursement, but acknowledged the challenges of attracting nurses concerned about contracting COVID-19.

South Carolina

Amid an increased demand for COVID-19 shots, Tidelands Health is hiring more than 100 temporary workers for its regional vaccination sites, the Georgetown, S.C.-based system announced Aug. 25. 

The health system is looking for clinically trained employees to administer vaccines and other workers for patient registration and to greet patients at its regional vaccination sites. It also needs temporary workers to help screen for COVID-19 at entrances to other Tidelands locations, and it has more than 200 permanent jobs available, including positions for nurses. 


Mississippi is grappling with an exodus of nurses amid the overwhelming circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNN

In a statement shared with Becker's Aug. 26, Kim Hoover, PhD, RN, COO of the Mississippi Hospital Association, reported a decrease of 2,000 actively licensed registered nurses in the state in the first seven months of 2021. She said 80 percent of nursing leaders nationwide have reported an increase in nurse turnover because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

To address circumstances of the latest COVID-19 wave, hospitals in Mississippi requested more than 1,450 healthcare workers from the state.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Aug. 24 that hospitals will receive 808 nurses, three nurse anesthetists, 22 nurse practitioners, 193 respiratory therapists and 20 paramedics. 


Clarissa Carson, an intensive care unit nurse at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, told CBS News there has been a surge of patients in her hospital as COVID-19 cases rise.

"Every day we see just the body boxes roll out one after the other, and then as soon as we clean the room, we get somebody back in there. … It's the worst we've ever seen," she told the news station.

Oregon has enacted an outdoor mask mandate amid a 990 percent jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Gov. Kate Brown also announced Aug. 25 that the state will deploy more crisis response teams of healthcare workers to help overwhelmed hospitals. 


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