Huntsville Hospital system is looking for registered nurses to hire.
Executive Director of Human Resources at Athens Limestone Hospital, Amanda Clardy, said, "I think hospitals all over the country have been struggling to recruit nurses."
The system is offering a $5,000 bonus to full-time hires. Each hospital in Huntsville Hospital's system is looking for different types of nurses.
Athens Limestone Hospital is specifically looking for ICU and MedSurge nurses. Clardy said Huntsville Hospital system is offering a signing bonus because they have to compete with the market of other nearby hospitals.
John Ziegler, Executive Director of the Alabama Nurses Association, said during the pandemic, some nurses looked at other opportunities.
"You did have some percentages of nurses who became travel nurses," said Ziegler. "So, now the system is re-booting if you will."
Clardy said even with less nurses working in the hospitals, patients are treated for the same. The pressure lands on current nurses who may be seeing more patients at once.
The hospital to patient ratio is usually one nurse to every five patients, but that's not always doable.
"Any nurse will tell you that staffing and having the right staffing combination is a critical matter for good patient outcome," said Ziegler.
Huntsville Hospital system is not alone in their search for registered nurses. According to data from the Alabama Department of Labor, the top online advertisement is for registered nurses. Since last March, online "help wanted" ads increased by 65%.
Ziegler said hospitals should see more nurses apply around May.
"We are hoping the amount of staffing will equal itself out in the next few months. We do have new grads coming online obviously in May," said Ziegler.