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North Dakota Nurse Shortage: By the Numbers

Across the country and right here at home, a nursing shortage is being felt. About a year ago, the governor began a Nursing Shortage Task Force to find out the numbers surrounding this problem.

Taking a look at 2015-2016 numbers, we can break this down by LPN's, RN's, and NP's. For licensed practical nurses, 5 percent of their jobs are vacant for RN's, 7 percent, and for nurse practitioners, almost 14 percent. Anything above 5 percent is considered critical and as you can see, all of these are almost 5 percent or well above it. Today, CHI St. Alexius held a nursing fair in hopes of filling their open slots.

Janelle Frederick; Talent Manager Coordinator for CHI St. Alexius: "I would take 75 or so if I could find them." CHI has had to get more creative figuring out ways to get nurses to sign on and stay on.

Janelle Frederick; Talent Manager Coordinator for CHI St. Alexius: "So like a sign on bonus we're offering to folks coming in, so new grads as well as experienced. And then we're trying to take care of our current employees as well, with doing some retention payouts that will happen in the near future." One nurse that's been in the field for 32 years has seen the downsides to staff shortages firsthand.

Sharon Houim; Nurse Applicant: "You were piled on with more work and that kind of stuff. To a point where you kind of worry about patient safety."

Janelle Frederick; Talent Manager Coordinator for CHI St. Alexius: "We have a lot of people that pick up extra shifts here and there. We do compensate them. But you're body just gets tired after so long." And figuring out how to fix the nursing shortage is still a problem without a clear solution.

Sharon Houim; Nurse Applicant: "I think it's just harder to find enough people that want to be nurses anymore."

MyNDNow
By Malique Rankin