In New Mexico Hospitals, the Shortage of Staffing Looms in Budget Decisions

Daniella Cressman

"Health care vacancies, especially at New Mexico hospitals, are plentiful and that is a top concern." —Collen Heild

Hospitals are experiencing staff shortages in New Mexico, which is a major problem, especially right now: We have to be prepared to fight monkeypox and many are traveling across state borders to access abortion services in the Land of Enchantment.

As a result, health centers have had to pay contract agency nurses who command a higher rate for their services.

"Given New Mexico’s chronic nursing shortage, hospitals had to pay contract agency nurses, or travelers, who commanded premium rates higher than nurse employees, to fill vacancies." —Collen Heild

Unfortunately, chances are slim that medical organizations will have the budget to do this in the near future.

"...Hospitals are running out of savings to continue that practice...One New Mexico hospital, Rehoboth McKinley Christian health care services in Gallup, announced earlier this month it was temporarily closing its obstetric unit for labor and deliveries, because there aren’t enough doctors or nurses for the unit." —Collen Heild

On a positive, more applications for nursing positions have been received.

"But there is some good news. Hospitals are starting to see an uptick in applications, and some nurses are deciding to come back from retirement or give up the life of a traveling nurse working outside the state." —Collen Heild

Perhaps due to the numerous vacancies, some nurses have chosen to come out of retirement or start working in the state after living the life of a traveling nurse.

Nonetheless, hospitals continue to suffer from staff shortages.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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