COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Job opportunities are booming for nurses in the Valley, as hiring initiatives ramp up to tackle a local and national nursing shortage.
"The Baby Boomers are growing older and as a result of that, a lot of the Baby Boomer nurses are retiring, but they're also becoming patients," said St. Francis Chief Nursing Officer Shirley Hoskins.
Add that to changes in the healthcare system, and the American Nurses Association expects the nationwide shortage won't stop any time soon.
Hospitals in the Valley continue to recruit nurses to tackle the problem, filling the seemingly endless vacancies.
Columbus Regional will welcome dozens of new team members next week, but still have about 10 current nursing potions up for grabs.
St. Francis administrators also say they're looking to bring more nurses on board.
Working with five nearby nursing schools, Columbus Regional Chief Nursing Officer Cary Burcham thinks the profession will provide great career opportunities for those who stay in the area.
"It provides a diversity of opportunities for you to do a lot of different things, particularly when there's a shortage, there's more opportunities than when there's not," said Cary Burcham, Columbus Regional's Chief Nursing Officer.
Sign-on bonuses and increased salaries for all nurses are just some of the initiatives hoping to get qualified candidates through the door.