There is a growing demand for nurses across the country and right here in western Massachusetts.
As the health industry evolves, the need for these life-saving caregivers is mounting.
There are more than three-and-a-half million registered nurses in the United States, but the need for nurses is even greater than that.
On Thursday, Baystate Medical Center held an open house seeking qualified candidates to beef up their staff with qualified candidates.
"We have an increased number of patients. We continue to open beds and need more staff," said Elaine Duarte with Baystate Medical Center.
Nurses are trusted a face during a patient’s time of need and the heart and soul of a hospital.
"There are so many opportunities," said Kymberly O'Brien with Baystate Medical Center.
However, there is a critical shortage.
Today, Baystate held open recruitment hours, telling Western Mass News if the right candidate walks through the door, they may even get an offer the same day. "We encourage and we hire lots of new grads into our nurse residency program, We’re really looking for a wide range of experience," O'Brien added.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the industry needs to recruit 1.1 million new registered nurses to the profession.
"Our nurses are retiring," O'Brien noted.
In fact, by 2022, more than 700,000 nurses are preparing to hang up their scrubs.
The root cause of the shortage may stem from the classroom.
"The education systems are turning away students. So the shortage is going to continue," O'Brien said.
It also comes down to the all American dollar.
"There is not enough faculty. Historically, education has paid less than nursing leadership positions," Duarte explained.
The event is still open. They will be taking interviews until 6 p.m. Thursday at their recruitment center inside the Daly Lobby at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
If you can’t make it this week, they are offering open hours every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
It is also National Nurses Week, so if you see a nurse, be sure to thank them.
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