With COVID-19 hospitalizations at an all-time high, there is no shortage of hospital positions across the country. Not only are many hospitals experiencing an overwhelming influx of patients, but COVID-19 units are losing countless nurses as they test positive and are required to isolate. In an attempt to fill these positions, many states are trying to bring in nurses from other parts of the country. Though some states have rules and regulations that prevent healthcare workers from practicing outside of the state they are licensed in, many have temporarily changed the rules during this emergency. Some hospitals are also offering financial incentives for new staff members.
Though it is undoubtedly nurses that are currently the most sought-after, hospitals are hiring for many other positions as well. Among those in high demand are respiratory therapists, medical technologists, laboratory workers, administrative professionals, and other healthcare specialists. While you’re unlikely to have a difficult time finding a hospital job in any state at the moment, some hospitals need more help than others. According to the most recent government data, the states with the highest percentage of hospitals reporting critical staff shortages are:
With these states in critical need of healthcare workers, here are the top 12 hospitals that are actively hiring due to COVID-19.
North Dakota currently has the highest proportion of hospitals facing critical staff shortages in the country. Earlier in November, North Dakota governor Doug Burgum made an announcement that reflects the desperation many hospitals are facing. Healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19 are now allowed to continue working - as long as they remain asymptomatic.
Located in Minot, North Dakota, Trinity Health Systems operates two large hospitals: Trinity Hospital and Trinity Hospital St. Joseph’s. Trinity also runs the Kenmare Community Hospital in the tiny city of Kenmare. The health system currently has over 100 nursing positions available, as well as many openings in support services and technology.
If you’re looking for work in North Dakota outside of Minot, a close second to Trinity Health Systems is Sanford Health. With over 500 beds, Sanford Medical Center Fargo is also experiencing significant staffing shortages.
As Arkansas continues to break records for new COVID-19 cases with each passing day, hospitalization rates have also steadily increased. Many hospitals in Arkansas have become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, including UAMS Medical Center. Located in Little Rock, UAMS Medical Center has been hit especially hard, as hundreds of the hospital’s healthcare workers have had to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19. In response, the medical center has banned all patient visitation, except in exceptional circumstances. While most open positions are for registered nurses, there are also many openings in administration, lab services, and research.
Although California hospitals are also experiencing a significant staffing shortage, there is also a dire lack of beds. This combination has resulted in California reaching a crisis that is only expected to worsen. Of the 400 total hospitals in the state, 139 are currently critically understaffed. Cases continue to surge, with a record high of over 60,000 new positive tests in a single day reported on December 16th. The astronomical increase in cases has resulted in over a 50% increase in hospitalizations over two weeks and available ICU beds decreasing daily.
Dignity Health operates six acute care hospitals in the Sacramento area of California. The Methodist Hospital of Sacramento is one of Dignity Health's largest hospitals hiring for multiple positions. Dignity Health’s Glendale Memorial Hospital is also in great need of staff - the hospital is currently offering a sign-on bonus of between 10 and 30 thousand dollars for nurses and technicians.
It’s not just hospitals in Sacramento that are understaffed. Located in Los Angeles, Keck Medical Center of USC is advertising for immediate-start positions. The hospital currently has over 400 openings, and all roles that require some level of patient care are being recruited for. This includes all nursing specializations, respiratory therapists, environmental service workers, and support staff. Most roles are full-time, but some part-time positions are also available. Whether you’re looking to work in Sacramento, Los Angeles, or San Jose, you can be sure there’s a hospital in your area of California that is actively hiring.
Unlike California, Missouri has enough hospital beds but is severely lacking healthcare staff. At the beginning of December, Governor Mike Parson announced a new program designed to support Missouri hospitals. Healthcare company Vizient was hired by the state to bring in more nurses and nurse assistants. Even with this program in place, some nursing positions will remain vacant.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital is one of many BJC HealthCare hospitals and facilities currently hiring. Located in St. Louis, this hospital ranks number 18 in the country and holds the top place for the best Missouri hospital located in Missouri. It’s also easily Missouri’s largest hospital, with over 1000 beds and 10,000 staff members. Barnes-Jewish Hospital is currently advertising for nearly 600 positions. Over 400 of these are nursing positions, but clinical support, laboratory, imaging, and pharmacy departments are also significantly understaffed.
Though Arizona has enough beds and PPE, they’re critically short on ICU nurses and respiratory therapists. Of the 118 hospitals in the state, 39 are experiencing critical staff shortages. Arizona experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases during the summer months when tourists flocked to the state. At that time, a healthcare crisis was averted with the help of traveling nurses. Unfortunately, finding nurses this winter is proving much more of a challenge. Arizona hospitals are concerned they won’t be able to find the help they need this time around.
Banner Health University Medical Center is the largest hospital in Arizona, with over 700 beds. Banner Health has over 1000 job postings for Arizona. Approximately 300 of these positions are in Phoenix, but plenty are in Mesa, Tucson, and Glendale as well. Similar to hospitals in other states, most available positions are for nurses but many are also being advertised for clinical services, clinical support, information technology, and administrative services. Regardless of your specialization, Banner Health has a position for you.
With a third of Alabama hospitals experiencing critical staffing shortages, the state has adopted new emergency rules. These rules allow doctors from Canada to temporarily treat COVID-19 patients in their hospitals without getting licensed. The staffing shortage is particularly pressing in rural communities, where COVID-19 nurses are in extremely high demand.
Located in Opelika, East Alabama Medical Center is a 352-bed hospital with approximately 300 positions currently available. The hospital specializes in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, oncology, and neurosurgery. A $5K sign-on bonus for medical laboratory technologists and a $10K sign-on bonus for respiratory therapists are currently on offer. While most positions are in nursing and nursing support, the hospital also has a high need for professionals in healthcare management. Most positions are full-time, but some flex and part-time positions also exist.
Located in Birmingham, Grandview Medical Center is also actively hiring in Alabama and has over 300 positions available. As another large hospital, Grandview has over 400 beds. Openings are primarily for medical technologists, MRI technologists, phlebotomists, radiologist, respiratory therapists, and registered nurses. RNs are being recruited across almost all departments, including surgery, emergency, labor and delivery, and ICU. Many of the emergency and ICU nursing positions are night shifts.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia was struggling with a nurse shortage. Bedside nurses in particular have been retiring in high numbers, and new graduates aren’t able to fill these roles at the same rate. With over 1000 new COVID-19 cases reported each day, the number of hospitalizations is also increasing, and West Virginia nurses are unable to keep up. In recent weeks, the state has been trying to bring traveling nurses in from other states, and even other countries.
West Virginia University Medicine (WVU Medicine) is West Virginia’s largest employer and a not-for-profit company. WVU Medicine has approximately 1500 positions available, with many of these at their West Virginia University Hospital (located in the small city of Morgantown). Most are full-time day and night shifts, but part-time morning, afternoon, and evening shifts are available as well.
Like other states, New Mexico experienced an autumn surge in COVID-19 cases. However, whereas many states continue to break daily records for new cases, New Mexico spiked back in mid-November and has slowly begun to decrease since. At this time, governor Michelle Lujan Grisham shut down restaurants and other nonessential businesses to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Though cases continue to decline, COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high, and available ICU beds are dwindling.
Lovelace Medical Center is located in Albuquerque and falls under Lovelace Health System, which currently has over 500 jobs advertised. Altogether, Lovelace employs over 4000 staff and has over 600 beds shared between hospitals collectively. After Lovelace Medical Center, the Lovelace Women’s Hospital and Lovelace Westside Hospital are experiencing the most significant staffing shortages. In addition to nurses, physicians and administrators are also desperately needed.
Active cases in Oklahoma are currently over 30,000, and hospitals are being forced to use crisis standards of care under the pressure. This means that caregivers must choose between which patients will receive care, and which will not, leading to potentially life and death outcomes. Nursing students in their final year are being asked to perform independent care activities. Some hospitals are also beginning to set up tents to prepare for an expected increase in COVID-19 patients.
Located in Oklahoma City, OU Medical Center has over 300 jobs available. The 700-bed hospital is located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. It also houses the only Level One trauma center in Oklahoma. Those seeking part-time work will be hard-pressed to find a position at this hospital currently, as almost all advertised positions are full-time. While most roles involve patient care, there are also plenty of positions in research and administration.
Though cases are beginning to gradually decline since daily cases peaked in mid-November, Wisconsin hospitals are still struggling to function under the burden of its overwhelmed facilities. In Marshfield, nurses have been working over 100 hours over 8 days, and available ICU beds have dwindled to less than 10. The state recently announced that they would be deploying medical staff from the U.S. Department of Defense to help ease the strain.
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) has over 700 jobs. It is known as one of only a few sizeable independent not-for-profit medical health systems in the country. Across all eight Marshfield clinics, over 10,000 staff are employed. MCHS has nearly 100 physician positions open across all specialties. Of the 700+ non-physician positions, nearly half are advertising for registered nurses and clinical support, but environmental services aides and medical assistants are also in high demand. Those looking for positions in non-clinical support, laboratory support, and accounting will also have no trouble finding positions.
Although the hospitals and health systems in the above ten states are struggling the most, healthcare professionals won’t find it particularly challenging to find a hospital job in any state. As of December 2020, the only states with less than 10% of their hospitals experiencing critical staffing shortages were:
If looking for international work opportunities, nurses and physicians from out-of-country will find it easier than ever to work in the United States. Though the financial incentive may be worth the cost in time and energy, those looking for jobs in overwhelmed hospitals should expect to work long hours in a high-pressure environment.