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Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

CoxHealth Looks Overseas to Meet Nursing Needs


CoxHealth is planning to hire nurses from overseas.  The hospital cited “tremendous growth” and “an effort to keep up with the growing need for health care personnel” as reasons for the decision.

Karen Kramer, CoxHealth’s chief nursing officer said, in Branson last year inpatient admissions volume grew ten percent.  And emergency department admissions are up about the same amount system wide.

"And as we've been recruiting locally, regionally over the last couple of years, it has been getting harder to recruit and taking longer to fill positions when they are open," she said.

Approximately 100 nurses, primarily from the Philippines where English is an official language, will come to the health system over the next year, according to a news release from CoxHealth.  The first will begin arriving this fall.

"The Philippines has a lot of nurses who are interested  in coming to the U.S.  And it's actually been a process that's been processed for over 50 years," Kramer said.

She said their schools of nursing have curriculums similar to the US.  And English is an official language in the Philippines, so there won’t be a language barrier.

According to Kramer, all applicants have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and must have a minimum of two years of nursing experience.

Cox is working with companies that specialize in hiring healthcare workers from other countries.

She said this won’t replace traditional recruitment efforts.  According to Kramer, the need for nurses is only going to grow.