Nursing Shortage Closes Beds at Regional Hospital

Helene Duhamel, News Anchor/Producer, helene@kotatv.com
POSTED: 03:30 PM MST Jan 07, 2016    UPDATED: 06:01 PM MST Jan 07, 2016 

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The nursing shortage strikes in KOTA Territory. A lack of nurses is causing some drastic changes at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Regional has 417 beds in the hospital. On any given day ten to 20 are being closed because of an inadequate number of experienced registered nurses.

A chief of nursing was hired November 30, 2015, to work on quality of care, patient experience and recruiting and retaining nurses. From November through December, 90 nurses were hired. Regional is also turning to traveling nurses to help in this tough spot.

“Because we are short of nurses right now,” continues Lori Wightman, MSN, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, “One thing we’re doing to ensure patient safety and quality of care is to limit some of the beds that we’re using so we can ensure appropriate patient to nurse care ratios. So, we’re meeting standards of care and everyone is ensured a safe experience until we get those positions filled and we have that robust team we’re working so hard to achieve.”

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