Nursing shortage forces hospital to transfer patients

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 8:20 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - The nursing shortage led one Mississippi County hospital to move its patients to another hospital.

In the last few months, the South Mississippi County Regional Medical Center in Osceola has lost 8 nurses.

Recently, the hospital had to transfer several patients on one floor to Great River Medical Center in Blytheville for treatment and nursing care.

“We are finding a shortage right now of staffing the unit adequately to take care of patients,” said Chris Raymer, the hospital’s CEO.

He added the move was temporary and this has happened before under different circumstances. Once nurses are hired, he said patients will be transferred back to SMC.

The shortage can be attributed to older nurses retiring and enrollment in nursing programs dropping.

“Sign-ups for nursing programs are down and college admissions, in general, are down,” Raymer said.

Travel nursing has become a popular career path with more nurses opting for a life on the road rather than traditional hospital work.

Raymer said that nursing requires a lot of work, from unpaid Clinical to tons of hands-on learning. He said very few nursing courses are taught online, and this could drive away potential students.

To encourage registered and licensed practical nurses to apply for employment, the Mississippi County Health System is offering sign-on bonuses.

Copyright 2022 KAIT. All rights reserved.