FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Area health care providers are battling a nationwide nursing shortage.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting 371,000 new nursing positions to be added over the next decade.
There are more than 500 open nursing positions just in Fort Wayne hospitals.
"You just can't put a nurse with a patient in a bed and expect them to care for that patient if they don't the expertise to do it," Judy Boerger, Parkview Chief Nursing Executive.
The problem is not unique to Fort Wayne.
That's because there just aren't enough people becoming nurses to replace those retiring and meet the growing overall demand.
"Many of our nurses are going into expanded roles. Whether it's advanced nursing practice or navigation," said Boerger.
Parkview is working to keep up with demand, it is adding a wing at its regional medical center.
Now it is holding open interviews every week to staff it.
"It comes down to wanting to create that connection between that prospective nurse and the unit they want to work for," said Chief Community & Human Resource Officer for Parkview Health Dena Jacquay.
A Lutheran Health Network spokesperson said there is also a shortage of people teaching the next generation of nurses.
That's why the University of St. Francis partners with the local providers.
"I think we can work to continue to fill these shortages that we are seeing," Dr Angie Harrell, USF Dean of School of Health Sciences.
Harrell said they try to expose students to all different aspects of nursing early.
And maybe hopefully they will want to come back and teach down the road.
"It's kind of a cycle where we are educating staff who could then potentially move on to be educators and continue the cycle," she said.
Parkview is hosting open interviews at Parkview Regional Medical Center every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon and at Parkview Randallia Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
Dupont Hospital will host open interviews on Nov. 6 and Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.