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Raleigh Hospital Deals With Nursing Shortage

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RALEIGH — When you go to the hospital, you expect to find a nurse at your bedside,But often, you are just one of many patients that particular nurse tends to. Fewer people are going into the field, and as a result, there is a nursing shortage across the country.

Hospitals, like Rex Hospital in Raleigh, are doing whatever they can to get -- and keep -- the best and the brightest.

Cheryl Rice has been a nurse at Rex Hospital for almost six years.

"One thing that Rex does that keep me is that they offer full-time benefits for nurses that work 30 hours a week," says Rice.

Rex also offers pay incentives for working nights, weekends and extra shifts. The hospital hired a special nurse recruiter and gives new employees a generous relocation allowance.

Sylvia Hackett, Rex's Director of Employment, says in this competitive market hospitals are advertising aggressively to fill positions.

"We're certainly recruiting on a national level, as well as international," she says.

"I think that everyone has the same issues we do, but fortunately we are not closing beds. We're able to sustain our business and deliver high quality patient care," says Hackett.

One of the biggest things which helps parents focus on their jobs is knowing their children are safe and well cared for. That is why Rex offers its employees, including nurses, on-site day care.

One thing that keeps nurse Karen Miller at Rex is the daycare for her two boys.

"I never worry about them when they are there. If there's a problem, they call me instantly and let me know," Miller says.

Rex also offers care for sick children, which is a huge benefit forparents who can not afford to miss work when a child is ill.

For the past four years, the hospital has been rated one of the top 100 companies to work for by "Working Mother" magazine. But even with all the perks they still have nursing vacancies, about 80 spots are open.


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