“We’re always recruiting,” local hospitals address nurse shortage amid pandemic


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) – Hospitals across the region are facing a nurse shortage.

Washington Regional’s Chief Nursing Officer, Meredith Green says the medical center is always in recruiting mode and looking for highly skilled nurses. Since the pandemic, she says some nurses decided to retire early while others chose to leave the industry altogether.

In the event, more nurses are needed than on staff Green says Washington Regional is prepared.

“We have a phased surge plan that we would activate when needed that would allow us to quickly pivot most of our resources whether that be nurses or physicians to the areas of highest need,” said Green.

She adds it’s talent development teams go to nursing colleges and schools to recruit nurses. The hospital also works alongside its education department to cross-train many of its nurses.

Over at Northwest Health, recruitment also a big focus. A spokesperson with the hospital says “Unfortunately, our entire country currently has a nursing shortage. We are recruiting nationally to continue expanding our workforce to keep up with the demand. We feel fortunate to live in such a desirable area as we attempt to recruit and bring additional nurses into our area.”

Mercy Hospital sent this statement about the issue: “There is a national shortage of nurses that existed previous to COVID-19 and is likely to continue well beyond the pandemic. Mercy works extremely hard to provide safe staffing levels to ensure exceptional care for all patients…”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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