COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - The Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle is giving nurses that meet a certain criteria a $5,000 signing bonus as a way to combat the nursing shortage in north Mississippi during this pandemic.
Johnny Judson is the nurse recruiter at Baptist. He said the hospital is being very competitive to find the best health care workers by providing added benefits.
"Anything that they can do that will sweeten the pie without weakening the qualifications," he said. "They look at that from time to time and make a decision on whether this is something they could put into place.
This is how the Baptist staff came up with the idea for the signing bonus.
In order to qualify for the $5,000 bonus, nurses must have two years of experience in critical care, progressive care, medical surgical units, or the emergency department.
"You want somebody to come to the rescue. That's basically what Baptist is doing," said Judson. "They're trying to put something in place to try to lighten the load on the staff."
Judson believes this incentive could bring in more nurses.
His biggest concern is giving his health care workers a chance to take a break.
"At the end of the day, the holes have got to be filled," he explained. "Our staff, like I said, they've been stepping up to the plate to fill the holes, but we're trying to lighten the load on them."
In addition to the signing bonus, Judson said the hospital also offers student loan payback, as well as a retirement program for their employees.