Local hospitals hire hundreds of nurses during the pandemic


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For nurses at Methodist-Le Bonheur Healthcare, life on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic does take a special person and a lot of grit.

Christine Crook Clancy, a nurse and director of nurse residency and recruitment, pulled back the curtains to tell you about the experience.
“They are special people, and able to take care of patients during the pandemic, and when it’s not a pandemic,” Crook Clancy said.

The need for nurses is a constant at any time, but you must also factor in the workload, the long hours and the emotional connections with patients and families.  

“It’s very emotional, particularly when you lose a patient that you’ve worked with. So we do try to take care of our staff every chance we can,” said Don Hutson, Methodist’s vice president of talent management.

“We are seeing a surge in the community and we’ve always had a need for nurses. Like I said, this is typical hiring for us for on any given year,” he said.

But this isn’t your typical year. Because of the pandemic and to prepare for a surge in COVID patients, Methodist-Le Bonheur has hired more than 300 new nurses since March 1.

It’s Crook Clancy’s job to get new graduate nurses ready for COVID patients and the majority of those who aren’t COVID patients.
“It is challenging to be a new nurse in the first year and in the middle of a pandemic it’s even more important that we support them,” she said.
The hospital has surge plan in place for training existing staff, programs for nurses who work in the ICU and the ability to bring in more beds, if needed, to care for all patients.

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