New Orleans goes on international nurse hunt

Hospitals in New Orleans are searching far and wide to fill major gaps in their nursing lineups, still struggling with shortages arising from mass departures after Hurricane Katrina. For example, Ochsner Medical Center-West Bank and West Jefferson Medical Center have been forced to fill the 100 vacancies at each hospital with contract workers from out of state. The two also share nurses to address labor shortages. The contract nurses, who work 12 to 13 week contracts, are an expensive but necessary part of doing business in the still-recovering city. To address this problem over the longer term, Ochsner hopes to bring 40 Filipino nurses on board; the Filipino nurses must agree to a three-year commitment if the system hires them. Also, both hospitals are working with nursing schools to bring in new recruits.

To find out more about the New Orleans nurse shortage:
- read this Times-Picayune piece

PLUS: The dean of Emory University's nursing school is sounding the alarm over the U.S. shortage of registered nurses, which could hit 800,000 by 2020. Article