Novant Health to hire 300 international nurses

Winston Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health plans to hire 300 international nurses to help offset the nursing shortage, according to an Oct. 7 report from NBC affiliate WCNC.

Candidates are sourced through Novant Health's international nurse fellowship program. The health system is competing for skilled nurses in a hot job market, with hospital systems across the country vying for the same employees. The international nurse fellowship has resulted in the hiring of more than 100 international nurses to date, according to the report. 

The manager of nurse residencies for Novant Health, Tracey Whitley, MSN, RN, said that national projections estimated that North Carolina would have a significant shortage of nurses. 

"With so many nurses going into travel nursing, which was very lucrative at the time, nurses are re-evaluating if it’s time to retire, which is one of the reasons we were going to go into the shortage to begin with. Our workforce has been aging and being a bedside nurse is very challenging and hard on your body," Ms. Whitley said.  

According to researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the state faces an estimated shortage of nearly 12,500 registered nurses and slightly more than 5,000 licensed practical nurses by 2033.

International nurses must meet the same requirements as nurses trained in the U.S., but it gives the hospital system a new group of people to recruit from and helps fill gaps caused by the nursing shortage, according to WCNC. Data from the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment indicates about 15 percent of the nurses in the U.S. are educated in another country.

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