Mississippi now has at least 2,000 fewer nurses than it did at start of year

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.  

The rate of stress and burnout facing healthcare workers during the public health crisis is a contributing factor to the turnover, according to Dr. Hoover. 

Nichole Atherton, an intensive care unit nurse at Singing River Ocean Springs Hospital, resigned in August but later decided to cut back her hours instead.

She told CNN, "It looks heroic, but that's not what it is. It's sweaty and hard and chaotic and bloody. And it's hard to live in this every day and then go home and live a normal life."

As of Aug. 26, average daily COVID-19 deaths and COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people over the last seven days in Mississippi were 37.7 and 1.27, respectively. Mississippi also has seen its COVID-19 hospitalization rate increase 14 percent in the last two weeks.

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. 

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