Hospital group: Mississippi nurses are leaving in droves

Published 8:47 am Monday, January 31, 2022

A Mississippi hospital association is sounding the alarm over nursing vacancies.

There are nearly 3,000 registered nurse vacancies in Mississippi. The exodus of nurses is adding further strain on hospitals striving to find care for COVID-19 patients.

“Hospitals will continue to close beds until they close doors,” said Kim Hoover, chief operating officer of the Mississippi Hospital Association.

“We will be dealing with it for years to come,” she said. “Our state could however, raise hospital staffing to top priority and bring nursing leaders to the table when discussing potential solutions.”

On Jan. 11, health care leaders at a University of Mississippi Medical Center reported it had 360 nursing vacancies. The lack of nurses forced the hospital to lower capacity by 55 beds because the beds cannot be staffed, the Jackson newspaper reported.

Reasons for the vacancies are varied: Some nurses are leaving for travel nursing positions for pay that Mississippi can’t match, officials said. Others are leaving the profession because they’re mentally and physically exhausted.