SIH fighting nursing shortage

In an effort to combat the nursing shortage, a nurse hiring event was held in Carbondale.
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:10 AM CDT
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - A shortage of workers in the medical field has a healthcare system in the Heartland taking action.

According to Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH), they are battling a nursing shortage that started during the pandemic.

SIH says the need for nurses continues to be very high right now.

This is why they hosted a hiring event on Thursday in Marion with members from their hospitals across Herrin, Murphysboro, Harrisburg and Carbondale.

In some cases at the event, some people were hired on the spot.

Tom Kobus walked into the event not knowing he’d leave with a job.

“I interviewed with St. Joe’s Hospital and I was offered a position as P.C.T.,” said Kobus.

SIH said they are looking to hire RNs, LPNs, Patient Care Techs, CNAs, sitters and other positions.

Johnna Smith is the Chief Nurse Executive with SIH and said, We have over a hundred nursing positions that we need to fill,” said Johnna Smith, the Chief Nurse Executive with SIH. “Through the pandemic we’ve had some staff choose to become travel nurses or go into a different service line and we are looking to fill those spots so right now we have agency nurses that are helping take care of the patients and we are looking to hire staff into those roles.”

The agency and/or travel nurses are a third party nursing service, through different organizations, to help ease workloads throughout different hospitals throughout the country.

Ammiel Russell, a recruiter with SIH, says she is incredibly thankful for travel/agency nurses, but looks forward to building a more permanent team.

“I never want to undermine their importance, but also it’s just harder to build up a department when you have so much influx and outflux of people and so we absolutely do want to focus more on trying to keep people and just try and build with people,” explained Russell.

SIH is holding their next hiring event at the Carbondale Civic Center on Wednesday, September 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.