Halifax Health offers new incentives for nurses amid COVID-19 increase leaving hospitals short-staffed

Many employees took travel or agency nurse jobs that pay more

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – As hospitals in Central Florida deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases, crews also dealing with a shortage of nurses.

Halifax Health in Daytona Beach is looking to hire 125 more nurses and is offering incentives like higher pay to try and get people to accept job offers.

“We had a nursing shortage prior to [COVID-19] we knew this was coming we’ve been dealing with it for probably the last ten to fifteen years. What [COVID-19] has done is it’s really just brought that to light quicker,” Senior Vice President of Halifax Health Kim Fulcher said.

Fulcher said they’ve hired 300 nurses since October, but also had a large number of employees leave. She said many took travel or agency nurse jobs that pay more.

“It’s competitive though with what the industry is offering agency nursing which right now can be $50 and up,” she said.

Halifax is upping their pay to compete with that. Fulcher hopes the new program called Halifax Flex will bring in more experienced applicants.

“We’ve had 256 of our nurses sign up for that program, they’re amazing. They have to work four shifts and it’s $45 an hour,” she said.

Fulcher said the current staff is exhausted. Right now, the hospital system has 122 COVID patients and over 60 hospital staff members are currently out sick with it.

Halifax is also working with colleges across the state to recruit nurses.

“We will pay their college tuition in order for them to come work at Halifax Health,” she said.

You can find information on how to apply to the program here.

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.