COVID-19 pandemic causes shortage of skilled nurses here in Erie


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shortage of skilled nurses. The shortage has stretched around the world to right here in Erie.

Meanwhile one local hospital is hiring 90 new nurses this summer to make up for it.

We went to UPMC Hamot on the last day of Nurses Week to learn more about this much needed hiring process.

Nurses at UPMC Hamot said that the pandemic has made the staff closer than ever.

They look forward to more healthcare workers joining the team.

The pandemic has presented a major challenge for local hospitals to remain fully staffed with healthcare workers.

UPMC Hamot hospital staff have been aggressive in the recruiting process and they will soon hire 90 new nurses.

“We have dozens of nurses who are re-graduating from schools of nursing in the region and they have committed to working at here. They haven’t started working yet, but we’re looking forward to their start here in June and July of this year,” said Jim Donnelly, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at UPMC Hamot.

Donnelly said that he is exceptionally proud of their nurses for showing character, compassion, and caring throughout all of this during these times.

One nurse at UPMC Hamot said that although the pandemic has presented some challenges, it has also brought her hospital family closer together.

“We’ve done a really good job in the ER specifically with staffing and working together and being mainly like a family, and teamwork, and I think I’m mainly excited to add more family to that group,” said Meagan Gottschling, Nurse at UPMC Hamot.

Gottschling shared some encouraging advice to people considering entering the field.

“Nursing is the most rewarding career. There’s no doubt about that. Like there’s no better feeling than going home and just thinking about how many people you helped during the day and I highly encourage people to go to nursing school,” said Gottschling.

Another initiative to combat the nursing shortage is a partnership through UPMC Hamot and Gannon University. They will launch a school to train nurses this August.

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