As the state continues to struggle to find healthcare workers to aid with the COVID-19 pandemic, one Mississippi hospital is offering a $5,000 bonus for qualified nurses.
Johnny Judson, registered nurse in charge of recruiting at Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle, told WCBI that the hospital is offering a multitude of incentives as they are in desperate need of healthcare workers.
“We’ve had a nursing shortage for years, but the COVID-19 virus has simply made things worse,” Judson told the news station. “That $5,000 is for our ER nurses, our critical care nurses, the medical surgical workers that work with the COVID patients.”
Even prior to the pandemic, Mississippi suffered from a major nursing shortage. The state, which offers the fourth-lowest median pay for registered nurses, held a 6.3% RN vacancy rate in 2008, and on top of that, it was reported in 2011 that the shortage would drastically increase between 2009 and 2030.
The pandemic has helped speed up that process as the nationwide RN vacancy rate stood at 9% as of July and that number is sure to have grown as hospitalizations in the U.S. hit a record of 125,544 on Sunday, continuing to place overwhelming strain on nurses and doctors across the country.
Currently, 1,383—the most since the onset of the pandemic—are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Mississippi. If you’re interested in applying to become a nurse at Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle, click here.