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Area hospitals work to attract staff amidst nationwide nursing shortage

A woman taking the blood pressure of an older woman who is seated.
Hush Naidoo Jade Photography / Unsplash
Hospitals are competing with staffing agencies that offer higher wages.

Southern Illinois Healthcare, like many health organizations across the country, is trying to attract nurses amidst a nationwide nursing shortage.

In addition to a shortage of nurses, many nurses are leaving hospital positions to join staffing agencies that offer higher wages, said nursing supervisor Jennifer Harre.

"It's really tempting for a staff nurse, to be working alongside an agency nurse, and knowing what that agency nurse is being paid and it causes some hard feelings, it's really tempting for that local staff member to want to join the traveling agency as well," she said.

Harre said SIH is working on plans to attract and keep nurses, including adjusting wages and offering retention bonuses, not just for nurses, but for other positions as well, like lab and pharmacy techs and physical therapists. Administrators said they are also working on filling necessary roles in non-patient care positions, like housekeeping.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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