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The impact on the nursing job market in the South's Gulf Coast region is yet another facet of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities were damaged and at least one New Orleans hospital has permanently closed. Whole neighborhoods were evacuated and thousands of residents relocated. Nurses and other health care workers lost their homes, as well as their livelihoods in the aftermath of this unprecedented catastrophe. Some nursing students from area programs were accepted by programs in other locations, affecting the pipeline of future nurses, as well.


USA Today reported that displaced health care workers from the New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were being lured by hospitals, doctor's offices, and clinics nationwide, offering sign-on bonuses and relocation assistance, among other incentives. The newspaper also said that classified advertisements in Gulf Coast newspapers and on Web sites encouraged nurses and other health care workers to consider new jobs. One staffing agency executive noted that the 13-week assignments usually offered by agencies are ideal for displaced workers.


Nurses from this area will need to make some hard decisions: whether it's feasible to stay, or take temporary assignments elsewhere and plan on returning, or even to move permanently. When the situation improves and the legions of volunteer nurses now working here have returned to their regular employment, will there be enough jobs and enough nurses to fill them? It may be quite a long time until the situation stabilizes and the region can determine what is needed for the future.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in the Southern States

The Atlanta Association of Health Care Recruiters


Web site:


VCU Health System


P.O. Box 980066


Richmond, VA 23298-0066


Contact: Debbie Mency, Nurse Recruiter


(800) 755-NURSE (6877) or


(804) 628-0918


Fax: (804) 628-8873


Web site: