SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Many institutions across the country are experiencing staffing shortages, including hospitals. St. Joseph’s Health Hospital is one of many hospitals across the country that are looking to hire more nurses.

Yuri Pashchuk, the Chief Nursing Officer for St. Joseph’s Health Hospital, said it has been a challenge figuring out where he needs staff and where he can pull from to make sure there is enough staff.

“The shortage has always existed,” said Pashchuk. “If we look at statistics we’ve always been short-staffed based on our needs in this country, however, the pandemic has exacerbated that, we call it pouring gasoline on that fire.”

He said nurses at St. Joe’s left for various reasons, the pandemic playing a big role. Some left because they needed someone to watch their kids while they weren’t in school, which forced them to leave their job.

Pashchuk would like to hire close to 200 nurses to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

“We have asked our staff to stay later, come in earlier, help out on days off,” said Pashchuk.  “The key to that is being able to be flexible with them and understanding what their needs are as well as what our needs are in the organization. We’re really flexible in terms of if they’re willing to come in for four hours if I can get a few nurses to pick up four-hour shifts, and can cover one larger shift.”

Pashchuk said many nurses have been carrying larger workloads meaning they have more patients and more responsibility, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it.

“Being able to make a difference for them whether it’s alleviating pain, supporting them in a chronic illness, or welcoming a new child into their life, you know maybe it’s an emergency that they’re facing and they’re absolutely terrified. Our nurses do an amazing job getting to the core of that need and supporting the family all the way through.”

Yuri Pashchuk, Chief Nursing Officer for St. Joseph’s Health Hospital

The hospital has a “Wednesday Walk-In” in the College of Nursing lobby from 3:30-5:30 p.m. every Wednesday. There is also a recruiting event at Destiny USA on February 22, from 2:00-6:00 p.m.

They’re also offering referral incentives for current colleagues and sign-on bonuses of up to $20,000.00.

Click here to visit the hospital’s hiring page.