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Local hospitals ramp up recruitment to improve staffing shortages from pandemic

Arizona’s ongoing nurse shortage has local hospitals on the lookout for new hires.
Posted at 7:11 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 03:04:14-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona’s ongoing nurse shortage has local hospitals on the lookout for new hires. Employers throughout the state are ramping up recruitment to get Arizonans back into the workforce, especially in healthcare.

“I think everywhere is short staffed at this moment still from being in the pandemic and a lot of places are picking up just like us in the hiring process,” said Michelle Wilson, HR Generalist at St. Mary's Hospital.

Hospitals needed nurses and EMTs last year more than ever. But data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor shows a major drop in Arizona health care workers during the pandemic.

“We are hiring and we are getting people into the door which is great," Wilson said. "However we do need more nurses and throughout the whole hospital is needed positions.”

Health care workers are now returning to hospitals. Employees at St. Mary’s Hospital say this is a result of waning COVID numbers and intensified recruiting efforts.

“We’re trying it all," said Monica Vargas-Mahar, Market CEO for Carondelet Health Network. "We’re looking for the very best talent and taking advantage of every strategy to try to reach as many people as possible.”

Carondelet Health Network in Tucson, which includes St. Mary's, St. Joseph's, Marana and Holy Cross Hospitals, has recently promoted job fairs and employee referrals. A couple weeks ago, they also began "Walk-in Wednesdays".

"The idea of 'Walk-in Wednesday' is any candidate who is interested can just come on in and get to visit with our team and we’re happy to do on the spot interviews and have made on the spot offers,” Vargas-Mahar said.

"Walk-in Wednesdays" has brought in dozens of applicants. Human Resources says they've already hired two.

Walk-In Wednesday hiring events are held until December 22nd at the following locations:

Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays
350 N. Wilmot Road, Tucson

Carondelet St. Mary’s and Marana Hospitals
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays
1601 W. St. Mary’s Road, Tucson

Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays
1171 W. Target Range Road, Nogales

Hospital-specific job fairs are also planned for Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. – 2. p.m. at St. Mary’s Hospital and Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. – 2. p.m. at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

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