CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The shortage of nurses in the area isn’t just impacting area hospitals. HospiceCare in Charleston, West Virginia is hoping to fill several nursing positions in the coming weeks.

Right now there are ten positions open for full-time nursing staff across the group’s 16-county coverage area.

“There are just not enough nurses in West Virginia right now and it really seems to be a structural problem that is going to need a more comprehensive approach to fix,” said HospiceCare CEO, Christopher Rawlings.

HospiceCare needs nurses for the inpatient programs as well as home hospice nurses. But finding applicants has been difficult as people who may have come to work there before the pandemic leave the area.

“Travel nursing has become a bigger industry and I think it is multifactoral as well,” Rawlings said. “As younger people may not be able to find jobs in West Virginia or the coal mines have closed down people have had to move to find other jobs. It has pulled so many nurses out of the utilization pool in West Virginia.”

HospiceCare is recruiting nurses on a variety of platforms including social media.

“We get a lot of interactions from folks tagging their friends saying “I know you’ve been looking for something or I’ve had a great experience with HospiceCare’,” said Director of Communications and Development for HospiceCare, Jessica Hall.

Rawlings said the shortage of nurses now is a symptom of bigger problems nationally and in the region.

“There are not enough nursing schools, there’s not enough nursing teachers, there really seems to be a shortage all across the supply chain of nurses,” he said. “Just having folks to interview that are even accessible to us seems to be the real underlying problem right now.”

So far HospiceCare hasn’t noticed a significant uptick in COVID-19 patients. Rawlings said they’ve mostly been working with the same types of patients they did before the pandemic.

For more information on job openings click here.