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Shortage of nurses, staff impacting Central Indiana hospitals fighting rising COVID-19 cases

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Posted at 8:07 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 20:07:50-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The shortage of nurses in Indiana spans from hospitals to long-term care facilities and just about everything in-between. Burnout from the pandemic only furthers the strain on the number of healthcare providers left.

Chris Madden with Networks Connect said his staffing company branched into healthcare in March of 2020, unbeknownst to what was ahead. Primarily, they serve long-term care facilities.

The Indianapolis-based company grew quickly, Madden said, from four employees to 50 today.

Almost two years in and Madden said they helped around 4,000 nurses land per diem jobs in six states, including Indiana.

“Staffing is it. There’s just a shortage [and it's] highly variable. A facility will be fine one day and have an outbreak of COVID the next day,” Madden said.

Madden’s hope is to expand further into hospital staffing next year.

Networks Connect tells WRTV the demand for healthcare staffing is so great they are moving to a larger facility this month. The company is looking to hire more than 70 support staff to help internally.

Click here to apply for jobs and learn more about Networks Connect.

Registered nurses can either hold an associate's or bachelor's degree of science in nursing. Ivy Tech Community College is one school that graduates a lot of nurses - around 1,300 students complete an associate of science in nursing annually. That makes up about 32% of all new registered nurses in Indiana each year.

Ivy Tech says nursing programs are at 18 of their 19 campuses and a program will open on the 19th campus in Hamilton County soon because of demand.

Marian University says it saw record enrollment in Fall 2021 for the university overall and nursing is the top undergraduate major.

Students interested in the program can click here to learn about the variety of degree options available.