Health

Amid a nationwide nursing shortage, Baptist Health Louisville is holding a nursing student expo on Saturday. 

Over the next six years, the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet predicts there will be more than 30,000 openings for nurses in Kentucky. There’s also a nursing shortage nationwide as the population ages and more people have chronic conditions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Laura Brown, human resources manager at Baptist Health Louisville, said the hospital starts recruiting nurses early in a tight employment market.

“We also host a tremendous amount of clinical students through their nursing career in their education area [to] help get those students acclimated to what it would be like to work at Baptist,” Brown said. “And they get a good feel for that through projects like what we have on Saturday.”

Brown said a third of Baptist Health Louisville employees are nurses, or about 1,200 people. 

“We have a lot of nursing students that work for us as a nursing assistant, so they are kind of have a foot in the door,” Brown said. “It is a very competitive market in which we work in to get talent and retain talent.”

The nursing shortage isn’t new, and institutions have tried varying ways to combat it. Back in 2017, KentuckyOne Health, which formerly owned hospitals in Louisville, was offering nurses a $6,000 sign-on bonus to work for two years, and to pay off up to $24,000 in student loans for nurses who made a four-year commitment. 

At Saturday’s expo, information booths will be open to assist attendees with details about incentives, professional development and job opportunities. The average pay for a registered nurse in Kentucky is currently around $60,000. Nurses can go through four-year programs, associates programs or degree programs at nursing trade schools. 

Nursing students must be enrolled in a two or four-year-nursing program and RSVP to the event, which starts at 9 a.m. Senior nursing students will also be able to register to interview for positions that would start after springtime graduation. Registration is required, and is open through Friday, Jan. 3. For more information, or to register, contact Courtney McGinty at (502) 897-8822.