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With nurses in high demand, Baptist Health planning career fair

Baptist Health is holding a career fair next week to recruit more nurses. The impact is widespread from nurses in hospitals to nursing students in classrooms.
Baptist Health is holding a career fair next week to recruit more nurses. The impact is widespread from nurses in hospitals to nursing students in classrooms.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The demand for nurses is high, and in a week, Baptist Health plans to hold a career fair to recruit more people.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will need another 1.1 million nurses by 2022 to handle the current shortage.

As more people test positive for COVID-19 and get admitted to hospitals, the demand for nurses continues to increase.

“I hear all the time, you know, they’re offering better pay but it’s not worth my life,” said Dr. Chelsea Fore, with the FSCJ School of Nursing.

The shortage isn’t surprising to Fore, who spent 24 years in nursing.

“COVID definitely hit hard and definitely caused us to see a bigger gap in our patient-nurse ratio,” she said.

The gap also impacts nursing students.

Fernanda Ponce is a junior at Jacksonville University’s School of Nursing. She says there are less educational opportunities for nursing students because there aren’t enough nurses to teach.

“There’s not enough places for us to practice, there’s not enough places for students in the classroom, there’s not enough faculty to teach us,” Ponce said.

Baptist Health’s open hours and career fair is August 19. It’s for licensed practical nurses who must RSVP first.